You are here

Does Trans-Spinal Direct Current Stimulation Alter Phrenic Motoneurons and Respiratory Neuromechanical Outputs in Humans? A Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled, Randomized, Crossover Study

Does Trans-Spinal Direct Current Stimulation Alter Phrenic Motoneurons and Respiratory Neuromechanical Outputs in Humans? A Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled, Randomized, Crossover Study

Authors: 
Marie-Cécile Niérat, Thomas Similowski, and Jean-Charles Lamy
Year: 
2014
Journal: 
The Journal of Neuroscience
Abstract: 

Although compelling evidence has demonstrated considerable neuroplasticity in the respiratory control system, few studies have explored the possibility of altering descending projections to phrenic motoneurons (PMNs) using noninvasive stimulation protocols. The present study was designed to investigate the immediate and long-lasting effects of a single session of transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS), a promising technique for modulating spinal cord functions, on descending ventilatory commands in healthy humans. Using a double-blind, controlled, randomized, crossover approach, we examined the effects of anodal, cathodal, and sham tsDCS delivered to the C3–C5 level on (1) diaphragm motor-evoked potentials (DiMEPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation and (2) spontaneous ventilation, as measured by respiratory inductance plethysmography. Both anodal and cathodal tsDCS induced a progressive increase in DiMEP amplitude during stimulation that persisted for at least 15 min after current offset. Interestingly, cathodal, but not anodal, tsDCS induced a persistent increase in tidal volume. In addition, (1) short-interval intracortical inhibition, (2) nonlinear complexity of the tidal volume signal (related to medullary ventilatory command), (3) autonomic function, and (4) compound muscle action potentials evoked by cervical magnetic stimulation were unaffected by tsDCS. This suggests that tsDCS-induced aftereffects did not occur at brainstem or cortical levels and were likely not attributable to direct polarization of cranial nerves or ventral roots. Instead, we argue that tsDCS could induce sustained changes in PMN output. Increased tidal volume after cathodal tsDCS opens up the perspective of harnessing respiratory neuroplasticity as a therapeutic tool for the management of several respiratory disorders.

For more information click here>>

© Copyright 1999 - 2017 ANT Neuro | www.ant-neuro.com | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement | Contact | USA Customers