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Influence of spinal reflexes on the locomotor pattern after spinal cord injury


Hubli, M; Dietz, V; Bolliger, M (2011). Influence of spinal reflexes on the locomotor pattern after spinal cord injury. Gait & Posture, 34(3):409-414.

Abstract

In complete spinal cord injured (cSCI) subjects a shift from dominant early (60-120ms latency) to dominant late (120-450ms latency) spinal reflex (SR) components occurs over time after injury. This shift is assumed to reflect a spinal neuronal dysfunction below the level of a spinal lesion. The neuronal pathways of SR are suggested to be closely connected with spinal locomotor circuits. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of the two SR components on the electromyographic (EMG) pattern induced by assisted locomotion in cSCI subjects. Leg muscle EMG activity was analysed during assisted locomotion in both healthy and motor cSCI subjects. SR were evoked by non-noxious tibial nerve stimulation during mid-stance phase of the gait cycle. Early and late SR components had a differential influence on the locomotor pattern. In healthy and cSCI subjects with a dominant early SR component the locomotor EMG pattern was modulated in the form of a short increase in leg flexors activity in the stance phase (tibialis anterior, biceps femoris). In contrast, in chronic cSCI subjects with a dominant late SR component no activation in biceps femoris but a long-lasting activation of tibialis anterior and rectus femoris muscles during the stance phase was evoked. It is concluded that the same tibial nerve stimuli activated two different neuronal pathways, resulting in divergent interactions with spinal locomotor circuitries. It is proposed that the two SR components have different physiological roles during locomotion.

Abstract

In complete spinal cord injured (cSCI) subjects a shift from dominant early (60-120ms latency) to dominant late (120-450ms latency) spinal reflex (SR) components occurs over time after injury. This shift is assumed to reflect a spinal neuronal dysfunction below the level of a spinal lesion. The neuronal pathways of SR are suggested to be closely connected with spinal locomotor circuits. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of the two SR components on the electromyographic (EMG) pattern induced by assisted locomotion in cSCI subjects. Leg muscle EMG activity was analysed during assisted locomotion in both healthy and motor cSCI subjects. SR were evoked by non-noxious tibial nerve stimulation during mid-stance phase of the gait cycle. Early and late SR components had a differential influence on the locomotor pattern. In healthy and cSCI subjects with a dominant early SR component the locomotor EMG pattern was modulated in the form of a short increase in leg flexors activity in the stance phase (tibialis anterior, biceps femoris). In contrast, in chronic cSCI subjects with a dominant late SR component no activation in biceps femoris but a long-lasting activation of tibialis anterior and rectus femoris muscles during the stance phase was evoked. It is concluded that the same tibial nerve stimuli activated two different neuronal pathways, resulting in divergent interactions with spinal locomotor circuitries. It is proposed that the two SR components have different physiological roles during locomotion.

Citations

5 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:July 2011
Deposited On:11 Jan 2012 17:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0966-6362
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.06.012
PubMed ID:21763140

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