Browsing by Subject "Paired Associative Stimulation"

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  • Pohjonen, Markus; Savolainen, Sarianna; Arokoski, Jari; Shulga, Anastasia (2021)
    Objectives: Earlier studies have shown how chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) patients have benefitted from paired associative stimulation (PAS), consisting of high-frequency peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) and high-intensity transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Since high-frequency PNS is poorly characterized, its therapeutic effect without TMS should be evaluated. We tested the effect of PNS combined with motor imagery in chronic SCI patients using the same parameters of PNS as in earlier PAS-based studies that also used TMS. Methods: Five patients with chronic incomplete SCI and tetraplegia received a 6-week treatment of PNS combined with motor imagery to the weaker upper limb. Patients were evaluated with Manual Muscle Testing (MMT), hand function tests (Box and block, grip and pinch strength dynamometry), and spasticity. Results: There was no significant change in hand function tests or spasticity. MMT values improved significantly immediately after the PNS period (0.59 +/- 0.17, p = 0.043) and in the 1-month follow-up visit (0.87 +/- 0.18, p = 0.043). However, improvement of MMT values was weaker than in chronic tetraplegic patients in a corresponding PAS study that used identical PNS stimulation but also included the TMS component omitted here (Tolmacheva et al., 2019a, Clin Neurophysiol Pract). Conclusions: The lack of effect on functional hand tests with the protocol presented here suggests that the synergistic effect of PNS and TMS components is essential for the full therapeutic effect previously observed with PAS intervention. The moderate improvement of the MMT score suggests the possible usefulness of PNS and motor imagery for some of those tetraplegic SCI patients who have contraindications to TMS. Significance: These results add to the understanding of the PAS therapeutic mechanism by highlighting the importance of dual stimulation for achieving the full therapeutic effect of long-term PAS with a high-frequency PNS component. (C) 2021 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Tolmacheva, Aleksandra; Savolainen, Sarianna; Kirveskari, Erika; Brandstack, Nina; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Shulga, Anastasia (2019)
    Objectives Long-term paired associative stimulation (PAS) is a non-invasive combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation and leads to improved hand motor function in individuals with incomplete traumatic tetraplegia. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can also be induced by neurological diseases. We tested a similar long-term PAS approach in patients with nontraumatic neurological SCI. Methods In this case series five patients with nontraumatic tetraplegia received PAS to the weaker upper limb 3 to 5 times per week for 6 weeks. Patients were evaluated with manual muscle testing (MMT) before and immediately after therapy and at the 1- and 6-month follow ups. Patients were also evaluated for spasticity, hand mechanical and digital dynamometry, pinch, and Box and Blocks tests. Results All patients had improved MMT values at all post-PAS evaluations. The mean±standard error MMT increase was 1.44±0.37 points (p=0.043) immediately after PAS, 1.57±0.4 points (p=0.043) at the 1-month follow-up, and 1.71±0.47 points (p=0.043) at the 6-month follow up. The pinch, digital dynamometry values, and Box and Blocks test results also improved in all patients. Conclusions Long-term PAS may be a safe and effective treatment for improving hand function in patients with nontraumatic tetraplegia. Significance This is the first report demonstrating the therapeutic potential of PAS for neurological SCI.