Stump nerve signals during transcranial magnetic motor cortex stimulation recorded in an amputee via longitudinal intrafascicular electrodes
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Do central and peripheral motor pathways associated with an amputated limb retain at least some functions over periods of years? This problem could be addressed by evaluating the response patterns of nerve signals from peripheral motor fibers during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of corticospinal tracts. The aim of this study was to record for the first time TMS-related responses from the nerves of a left arm stump of an amputee via intrafascicular longitudinal flexible multi-electrodes (tfLIFE4) implanted for a prosthetic hand control. After tfLIFE4 implant in the stump median and ulnar nerves, TMS impulses of increasing intensity were delivered to the contralateral motor cortex while tfLIFE4 recordings were carried out. Combining TMS of increasing intensity and tfLIFE4 electrodes recordings, motor nerve activity possibly related to the missing limb motor control and selectively triggered by brain stimulation without significant electromyographic contamination was identified. These findings are entirely original and indicate that tfLIFE4 signals are clearly driven from M1 stimulation, therefore witnessing the presence in the stump nerves of viable motor signals from the CNS possibly useful for artificial prosthesis control.
KeywordsTranscranial magnetic stimulation Intrafascicular longitudinal flexible multi-electrodes Peripheral nerves signals
The research was granted by University Campus Biomedico of Rome, Italy, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa, Italy.
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