Plastic changes in corticospinal excitability (CSE) and motor function can be induced in a targeted and long-term manner if afferent volleys evoked by peripheral nerve stimulation are repeatedly associated with the peak of premovement brain activity assessed with an electroencephalogram (EEG). The present study investigated whether other factors might also characterize this optimal brain state for plasticity induction. In healthy human volunteers (n = 24), we found that the same reliable changes in CSE can be induced by timing peripheral afferent stimulation relative to the onset of electromyogram (EMG) activity rather than using the EEG peak. Specifically, we observed an increase in CSE when peripheral stimulation activated the cortex just before movement initiation. By contrast, there was no effect on CSE if the afferent input reached the cortex at the same time or after EMG onset, consistent with the idea that the temporal order of synaptic activation from afferent input and voluntary movement is important for production of plasticity. Finally, in 14 volunteers, we found that background voluntary muscle activity prior to movement also abolished the effect on CSE. One possible explanation is that the intervention strengthens synapses that are inactive at rest but change their activity in anticipation of movement, and that the intervention fails when the synapses are tonically active during background EMG activity. Overall, we demonstrate that, in individuals with voluntary control of muscles targeted by our intervention, EMG signals are a suitable alternative to an EEG for inducing plasticity by coupling movement-related brain states with peripheral afferent input.

Corticospinal excitability modulation by pairing peripheral nerve stimulation with cortical states of movement initiation

Rocchi L
Secondo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Plastic changes in corticospinal excitability (CSE) and motor function can be induced in a targeted and long-term manner if afferent volleys evoked by peripheral nerve stimulation are repeatedly associated with the peak of premovement brain activity assessed with an electroencephalogram (EEG). The present study investigated whether other factors might also characterize this optimal brain state for plasticity induction. In healthy human volunteers (n = 24), we found that the same reliable changes in CSE can be induced by timing peripheral afferent stimulation relative to the onset of electromyogram (EMG) activity rather than using the EEG peak. Specifically, we observed an increase in CSE when peripheral stimulation activated the cortex just before movement initiation. By contrast, there was no effect on CSE if the afferent input reached the cortex at the same time or after EMG onset, consistent with the idea that the temporal order of synaptic activation from afferent input and voluntary movement is important for production of plasticity. Finally, in 14 volunteers, we found that background voluntary muscle activity prior to movement also abolished the effect on CSE. One possible explanation is that the intervention strengthens synapses that are inactive at rest but change their activity in anticipation of movement, and that the intervention fails when the synapses are tonically active during background EMG activity. Overall, we demonstrate that, in individuals with voluntary control of muscles targeted by our intervention, EMG signals are a suitable alternative to an EEG for inducing plasticity by coupling movement-related brain states with peripheral afferent input.
2021
EEG; EMG; PNS; Corticospinal excitability; Motor cortex; Plasticity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/313195
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