Regaining trunk stability after spinal cord injury


Mrinal ‘Neil’ Rath, Graduate Student, UCLA.

Lab Abstract:
Recently we have developed the non-invasive electrical spinal stimulation technology for postural control in SCI subjects during standing. However, the potential of non-invasive spinal stimulation to facilitate trunk postural control during sitting in humans with spinal cord injury (SCI) has not been investigated. We hypothesized that transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the lumbosacral enlargement can improve trunk posture. Six participants with non-progressive SCI, C3-T9, AIS A or C, performed different motor tasks during sitting on a force platform. Electromyography of the trunk muscles, three-dimensional kinematics, and force plate data were acquired. Spinal stimulation improved trunk control during sitting in all tested individuals. Stimulation resulted in elevated activity of the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, and external obliques, contributing to trunk control, more natural anterior pelvic tilt and lordotic curve, and greater multidirectional seated stability. During spinal stimulation prior to any training, the center of pressure (COP) excursion decreased to 112.06 ± 36.00 mm from 143.74 ± 30.79 mm (p=.028, Z=-2.2014) without stimulation and to 93.09 ± 37.42 mm from 123.77 ± 48.44 mm (p=.028, Z=-2.2014) without stimulation in quiet sitting before training and after training respectively. Similarly, the limits of stable displacement increased by 31.40 ± 37.28% (p=.046, Z=1.9917), 19.42 ± 15.83% (p=.046, Z=1.9917), 54.11 ± 54.36% (p=.028, Z=2.2014), and 49.69 ± 32.343% (p=.046, Z=1.9917) before training and 24.06 ± 16.06% (p=.028, Z=2.2014), 20.25 ± 22.01% (p=.075, Z= 1.7821), 27.87 ± 11.88% (p=.028, Z=2.2014), and 27.33 ± 44.42% (p=.116, Z= 1.5724) after training in the forward, backward, right, and left directions, respectively. These data demonstrate that the spinal networks can be modulated transcutaneously with tonic electrical spinal stimulation to physiological states sufficient to generate a more stable, erect sitting posture after chronic paralysis.

Grant Support: Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Research Foundation Grant #3068, NIH SBIR Grant R43EB018232, Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research Grant 16-29-08173-ofi-m

M. Rath: None. D.G. Sayenko: None. Y.P. Gerasimenko: E. Ownership Interest (stock, stock options, royalty, receipt of intellectual property rights/patent holder, excluding diversified mutual funds); shareholder interest in NeuroRecovery Technologies. V. Edgerton: E. Ownership Interest (stock, stock options, royalty, receipt of intellectual property rights/patent holder, excluding diversified mutual funds); shareholder interest in NeuroRecovery Technologies.

Abstract Citation
1UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; 2Pavlov Inst. of Physiol, St Petersburg, Russian Federation; 3Dept Integrative Biol. & Physiol., Univ. of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. Regaining trunk stability after spinal cord injury. Program No. 138.16. 2018 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience, 2018. Online.

This entry was posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Neuroscience Abstracts, Rehabilitation, spinal cord injury research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Regaining trunk stability after spinal cord injury

  1. midtoad says:

    This looks promising. When can I buy one of these units?

  2. Leo says:

    I want one too!

  3. Larry Badendyck says:

    …Every report of estim raises the question of how it relates to Jerry Silver’s work and the claim that intensive stimulation can compromise effectiveness of his treatment. I am sure this is of concern to CC followers. The site has cut off access to new members. Could this be addressed on CC?

    • christalpowell says:

      I don’t understand what you mean that access has been cut to new members? Anyone can access the SCI Report site. Posts can be received via email by simply entering an address at the top right subscription space to follow the blog. Is this what you mean or are you talking about something else? This is log in information from CC that I saw this morning. “The new registration feature on the forums no longer works due to problems with the sofware. For now, Jim will be vetting all those who desire to join our community as new members, and allowed to post on our forums. This will most likely continue until the site is moved to the cloud from the Rutger’s servers, which Jim has been working on for several weeks.

      If you, or someone you know is interested in joining us, please e-mail him at the address below. Include the user name desired and he will create the account, and direct you on how to complete the profile and set a password.

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