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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jan 2022 - 21 Jan 2022

Human Studies

2022 Jan 11


Effect of modulated TENS on corticospinal excitability in healthy subjects.


Faghani Jadidi A, Stevenson A J T, Zarei A A, Jensen W, Lontis R
Neuroscience. 2022 Jan 11.
PMID: 35031397.


Conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has been reported to effectively alleviate chronic pain, including phantom limb pain (PLP). Recently, literature has focused on modulated TENS patterns, such as pulse width modulation (PWM) and burst modulation (BM), as alternatives to conventional, non-modulated (NM) sensory neurostimulation to increase the efficiency of rehabilitation. However, there is still limited knowledge of how these modulated TENS patterns affect corticospinal (CS) and motor cortex activity. Therefore, our aim was to first investigate the effect of modulated TENS patterns on CS activity and corticomotor map in healthy subjects. Motor evoked potentials (MEP) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) were recorded from three muscles before and after the application of TENS interventions. Four different TENS patterns (PWM, BM, NM 40Hz, and NM 100 Hz) were applied. The results revealed significant facilitation of CS excitability following the PWM intervention. We also found an increase in the volume of the motor cortical map following the application of the PWM and NM (40 Hz). Although PLP alleviation has been reported to be associated with an enhancement of corticospinal excitability, the efficiency of the PWM intervention to induce pain alleviation should be validated in a future clinical study in amputees with PLP.