Author(s): Curt A, Ellaway PH
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Abstract Preclinical studies for the repair of spinal cord injury (SCI) and potential therapies for accessing the inherent plasticity of the central nervous system (CNS) to promote recovery of function are currently moving into the translational stage. These emerging clinical trials of therapeutic interventions for the repair of SCI require improved assessment techniques and quantitative outcome measures to supplement the American Spinal Injuries Association (ASIA) Impairment Scales. This chapter attempts to identify those electrophysiological techniques that show the most promise for provision of objective and quantitative measures of sensory, motor, and autonomic function in SCI. Reviewed are: (1) somatosensory evoked potentials, including dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials, and the electrical perceptual threshold as tests of the dorsal (posterior) column pathway; (2) laser evoked potentials and contact heat evoked potentials as tests of the anterior spinothalamic tract; (3) motor evoked potentials in limb muscles, in response to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex as tests of the corticospinal tract, and the application of the technique to assessment of trunk and sphincter muscles; and (4) the sympathetic skin response as a test of spinal cord access to the sympathetic chain. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Handb Clin Neurol
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation