Data_Sheet_1_Cortical Re-organization After Traumatic Brain Injury Elicited Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy: A Case Report.docx (674.55 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Cortical Re-organization After Traumatic Brain Injury Elicited Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy: A Case Report.docx

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posted on 19.08.2021, 10:27 by Matija Milosevic, Tomoya Nakanishi, Atsushi Sasaki, Akiko Yamaguchi, Taishin Nomura, Milos R. Popovic, Kimitaka Nakazawa

Functional electrical stimulation therapy (FEST) can improve motor function after neurological injuries. However, little is known about cortical changes after FEST and weather it can improve motor function after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Our study examined cortical changes and motor improvements in one male participant with chronic TBI suffering from mild motor impairment affecting the right upper-limb during 3-months of FEST and during 3-months follow-up. In total, 36 sessions of FEST were applied to enable upper-limb grasping and reaching movements. Short-term assessments carried out using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) showed reduced cortical silent period (CSP), indicating cortical and/or subcortical inhibition after each intervention. At the same time, no changes in motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were observed. Long-term assessments showed increased MEP corticospinal excitability after 12-weeks of FEST, which seemed to remain during both follow-ups, while no changes in CSP were observed. Similarly, long-term assessments using TMS mapping showed larger hand MEP area in the primary motor cortex (M1) after 12-weeks of FEST as well as during both follow-ups. Corroborating TMS results, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data showed M1 activations increased during hand grip and finger pinch tasks after 12-weeks of FEST, while gradual reduction of activity compared to after the intervention was seen during follow-ups. Widespread changes were seen not only in the M1, but also sensory, parietal rostroventral, supplementary motor, and premotor areas in both contralateral and ipsilateral hemispheres, especially during the finger pinch task. Drawing test performance showed improvements after the intervention and during follow-ups. Our findings suggest that task-specific and repetitive FEST can effectively increase cortical activations by integrating voluntary motor commands and sensorimotor network through functional electrical stimulation (FES). Overall, our results demonstrated cortical re-organization in an individual with chronic TBI after FEST.

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