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Spinal reflex activity: a marker for neuronal functionality after spinal cord injury


Hubli, M; Dietz, V; Bolliger, M (2012). Spinal reflex activity: a marker for neuronal functionality after spinal cord injury. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 26(2):188-196.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alterations in the function of spinal neuronal circuits underlying locomotion after a spinal cord injury (SCI) are associated with changes in the behavior of spinal reflexes (SRs) in both rats and humans. In healthy subjects, the SR consists of a dominant early reflex component, whereas in chronic, severely affected SCI subjects, a later component dominates.
OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between SR behavior and walking ability in para-/tetraplegic subjects.
METHOD:

The SR was evoked by nonnoxious tibial nerve stimulation. Walking ability was assessed by functional tests and questionnaires.
RESULTS:

There was a correlation between walking ability and SR behavior in chronic SCI: Severely affected SCI subjects unable to walk showed dominant late SR components, whereas in ambulatory SCI subjects an early SR component dominated. A functional training with an improvement of locomotor ability was accompanied by both a shift from a dominant to a smaller late and the appearance of an early SR component.
CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings indicate that SR can serve as a marker for the locomotor ability of SCI subjects. Neuronal plasticity exploited by a functional training is reflected in both an improvement of locomotor ability and a change in balance of SR components toward the early SR component.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alterations in the function of spinal neuronal circuits underlying locomotion after a spinal cord injury (SCI) are associated with changes in the behavior of spinal reflexes (SRs) in both rats and humans. In healthy subjects, the SR consists of a dominant early reflex component, whereas in chronic, severely affected SCI subjects, a later component dominates.
OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between SR behavior and walking ability in para-/tetraplegic subjects.
METHOD:

The SR was evoked by nonnoxious tibial nerve stimulation. Walking ability was assessed by functional tests and questionnaires.
RESULTS:

There was a correlation between walking ability and SR behavior in chronic SCI: Severely affected SCI subjects unable to walk showed dominant late SR components, whereas in ambulatory SCI subjects an early SR component dominated. A functional training with an improvement of locomotor ability was accompanied by both a shift from a dominant to a smaller late and the appearance of an early SR component.
CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings indicate that SR can serve as a marker for the locomotor ability of SCI subjects. Neuronal plasticity exploited by a functional training is reflected in both an improvement of locomotor ability and a change in balance of SR components toward the early SR component.

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16 citations in Web of Science®
14 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:2012
Deposited On:25 Feb 2012 10:55
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:30
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1545-9683
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968311420844
PubMed ID:21921130

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