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Epidural Stimulation for Cardiovascular Function Increases Lower Limb Lean Mass in Individuals With Chronic Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Experimental Physiology Publication

As published in the Experimental Physiology – a publication of the Physiological Society

by lead author Dr. Bonnie E. Legg Ditterline

This publication was produced by team members of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.

Spinal cord injury results in paralysis and deleterious neuromuscular and autonomic adaptations. Lumbosacral epidural stimulation can modulate motor and/or autonomic functions. The central question of the study: Does long‐term epidural stimulation for normalizing cardiovascular function affect leg muscle properties?

Leg lean mass increased after long‐term epidural stimulation for cardiovascular function, which was applied in the sitting position and did not activate the leg muscles. Leg muscle strength and fatigue resistance, assessed in a subgroup of individuals, also increased. These adaptations might support interventions for motor recovery and warrant further mechanistic investigation.

This publication was authored by:

    • Bonnie E. Legg Ditterline, PhD
    • Susan J. Harkema, PhD
    • Andrea Willhite, BA
    • Sean Stills, MS
    • Beatrice Ugiliweneza, PhD, MSPH
    • Enrico Rejc, PhD

Get Access to the Complete Article in Experimental Physiology.

Posted in Publications