Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and transspinal electrical stimulation (tsES) have been proposed as a novel neurostimulation modality for individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). In this study, we integrated magnetic and electrical stimulators to provide neuromodulation therapy to individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). We designed a clinical trial comprising an 8-week treatment period and a 4-week treatment-free observation period. Cortical excitability, clinical features, inertial measurement unit and surface electromyography were assessed every 4 weeks. Twelve individuals with iSCI were recruited and randomly divided into a combined therapy group, a magnetic stimulation group, an electrical stimulation group, or a sham stimulation group. The magnetic and electric stimulations provided in this study were intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) and 2.5-mA direct current (DC) stimulation, respectively. Combined therapy, which involves iTBS and transspinal DC stimulation (tsDCS), was more effective than was iTBS alone or tsDCS alone in terms of increasing corticospinal excitability. In conclusion, the effectiveness of 8-week combined therapy in increasing corticospinal excitability faded 4 weeks after the cessation of treatment. According to the results, combination of iTBS rTMS and tsDCS treatment was more effective than was iTBS rTMS alone or tsDCS alone in enhancing corticospinal excitability. Although promising, the results of this study must be validated by studies with longer interventions and larger sample sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4790-4800
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • corticospinal excitability
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • surface electromyography
  • transspinal electrical stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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