Background/Purpose: Paired stimulation can cause neuroplasticity in corticospinal and spinal pathways in subjects with a chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). We aimed to know the effects of different waveforms using paired stimulations with bicycling in subjects with a chronic SCI. Methods: Recruited subjects with an SCI underwent three treatment interventions in random order for 4–20 min followed by 30 min of bicycling (control, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS; rTMS) at 20 Hz with transspinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS), and intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) with tsDCS with a 1-week gap period. A TMS method was employed to record the resting motor threshold (RMT), the 90% values of which was used as the stimulation intensity, and the Hoffman (H)-reflex was measured by stimulating the tibial nerve in the popliteal fossa. The RMT, motor evoked potential (MEP) latency, MEP peak-to-peak amplitude, and H-reflex latency as primary variables and lower extremity motor scale (LEMS) and modified Ashworth spasticity scale (MAS) as secondary variables were analyzed before and after the interventions. Results: The MEP latency, MEP amplitude, and LEMS significantly improved with the rTMS-iTBS/tsDCS or the rTMS-20 Hz/tsDCS (p < 0.050) protocols compared to the control intervention. All other outcome measures, including RMT, H-reflex latency, and MAS score showed some changes but did not fully attain a level of significance. Conclusion: The paired stimulation with rTMS-iTBS/tsDCS was equally effective to produce neuroplastic effect in subjects with chronic SCI compared to the conventional TMS-20 Hz/tsDCS intervention.
- Motor evoked potential (MEP)
- Paired stimulation (PS)
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Transspinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas