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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 May 15

Bioelectron Med




Unintentionally intentional: unintended effects of spinal stimulation as a platform for multi-modal neurorehabilitation after spinal cord injury.


Moreno Romero GN, Twyman AR, Bandres MF, McPherson JG


Electrical stimulation of spinal neurons has emerged as a valuable tool to enhance rehabilitation after spinal cord injury. In separate parameterizations, it has shown promise for improving voluntary movement, reducing symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia, improving functions mediated by muscles of the pelvic floor (e.g., bowel, bladder, and sexual function), reducing spasms and spasticity, and decreasing neuropathic pain, among others. This diverse set of actions is related both to the density of sensorimotor neural networks in the spinal cord and to the intrinsic ability of electrical stimulation to modulate neural transmission in multiple spinal networks simultaneously. It also suggests that certain spinal stimulation parameterizations may be capable of providing multi-modal therapeutic benefits, which would directly address the complex, multi-faceted rehabilitation goals of people living with spinal cord injury. This review is intended to identify and characterize reports of spinal stimulation-based therapies specifically designed to provide multi-modal benefits and those that report relevant unintended effects of spinal stimulation paradigms parameterized to enhance a single consequence of spinal cord injury.