Treatment with PathMaker Neurosystems’ anodal trans‐spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS), a non-invasive direct nerve stimulation tool called MyoRegulator, was found to effectively ease spasticity in mice with spinal cord injury, a study reports.
A link between the ability to control muscle contraction and the levels of a specific neuronal transporter was also identified by its researchers, a finding that may help in understanding the mechanism involved in muscle control in several neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and cerebral palsy.
The preclinical data was reported in the study “Repeated anodal trans-spinal direct current stimulation results in long-term reduction of spasticity in mice with spinal cord injury,” published in The Journal of Physiology.
Spasticity, or the uncontrolled contraction of muscles, is experience by most MS patients at some point in their disease course. It is a challenging symptom, since its manifestations can differ significantly at different times and among different patients.
Current treatment strategies achieve only short-term positive results. These pharmacological, surgical, and physical treatments can be also uncomfortable and are associated with side effects.
PathMaker is developing the MyoRegulator system, which is based on tsDCS and uses electrical stimulus to modulate nerve cell activity and suppress the excessive reaction that induces spasticity. This new system uses two pairs of disposable skin-surface electrodes to deliver synchronized stimulation to two sites along the neural axis, at the spinal outflow and peripheral nerve controlling the affected muscle.
After seven consecutive days of treatment (20 minute sessions), mice showed significant reductions in muscle contraction and resistance. They also exhibited significant and sustained improvements in ground and skill locomotion compared to non-treated mice.
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