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Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the spinal cord: A noninvasive tool for the activation of stepping pattern generators in humans

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A new method for the activation of spinal locomotor networks (SLN) in humans by transcutaneous electrical spinal cord stimulation (tESCS) has been described. The tESCS applied in the region of the T11-T12 vertebrae with a frequency of 5–40 Hz elicited involuntary step-like movements in healthy subjects with their legs suspended in a gravity-neutral position. The amplitude of evoked step-like movements increased with increasing tESCS frequency. The frequency of evoked step-like movements did not depend on the frequency of tESCS. It was shown that the hip, knee, and ankle joints were involved in the evoked movements. It has been suggested that tESCS activates the SPG (SLN) through in part, via the dorsal roots that enter the spinal cord. tESCS can be used as a noninvasive method in rehabilitation of spinal pathology.

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Original Russian Text © R.M. Gorodnichev, E.A. Pivovarova, A. Puhov, S.A. Moiseev, A.A. Savochin, T.R. Moshonkina, N.A. Chsherbakova, V.A. Kilimnik, V.A. Selionov, I.B. Kozlovskaya, V.R. Edgerton, Yu.P. Gerasimenko, 2012, published in Fiziologiya Cheloveka, 2012, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 46–56.

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Gorodnichev, R.M., Pivovarova, E.A., Puhov, A. et al. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the spinal cord: A noninvasive tool for the activation of stepping pattern generators in humans. Hum Physiol 38, 158–167 (2012).

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