Cathodal transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) improves motor unit recruitment in healthy subjects

Tommaso Bocci, Beatrice Vannini, Antonio Torzini, Andrea Mazzatenta, Maurizio Vergari, Filippo Cogiamanian, Alberto Priori, Ferdinando Sartucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) is a new promising technique for modulating spinal cord function in humans. However, its effects on corticospinal pathways and lower motorneuron excitability are poorly understood. We studied the effects of tsDCS on motor unit recruitment by evaluating changes in motor unit number (MUNE) and peripheral silent period (PSP) after sham (s-tsDCS), anodal (a-tsDCS) and cathodal (c-tsDCS) tsDCS applied either over the cervical or the lower thoracic spinal cord in healthy subjects. For the calculation of MUNE we used the multipoint incremental technique recording from either the ulnar nerve innervated abductor digiti minimi (ADM) or the median nerve innervated abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle. c-tsDCS dramatically increases MUNE values following cervical polarization, while sham and anodal polarization have no significant effect (APB: F(4,99)=26.4, p(4,99)=22.1, p(4,99)=20.1, p(4,99)=16.6, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume578
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 22 2014

Keywords

  • Motor system
  • Motor unit number estimation
  • Motor unit recruitment
  • Motorneuron excitability
  • Transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation
  • TsDCS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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