Author(s): Alexeeva N, Broton JG, Suys S, Calancie B
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Abstract Muscle recruitment after central cord syndrome (CCS), a cervical spinal cord injury leading to a weaker motor function in the upper limbs versus the lower limbs, was examined in 14 individuals by means of voluntary muscle contractions and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Previously obtained data from able-bodied (AB) and non-CCS spinal cord injured subjects were used for comparison. Surface EMG was recorded from as many as six pairs of affected muscles. Individual muscle EMG activity was scored from 0 to 5. Cortical stimulation was applied while subjects maintained a weak contraction in each muscle. When CCS subjects attempted to produce a maximal voluntary contraction of an isolated muscle, this frequently resulted in cocontraction of nonsynergists in the same limb or/and in other limbs. Although the EMG scores in both upper and lower extremity muscles improved within postinjury time, in general, the lower extremity muscles, particularly the distal ones, demonstrated better recovery than the upper extremity muscles. CCS and AB subjects showed a similar high probability of "well-defined" responses to TMS (amplitude >150 microV) in all studied muscles. In contrast, latencies to TMS-evoked motor responses were prolonged by significant amounts after CCS. The delays in muscle responses were not significantly different from those observed in subjects with more severe cervical injury. Despite improvement in EMG scores, repeated measurements of TMS-evoked muscle response latencies in the same CCS subjects did not reveal significant shortening in central conduction latency. This argues against remyelination as an important contributor to the recovery process. Copyright 1997 Academic Press.
This article was published in Exp Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy