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Project

Random Noise Stimulation to Enhance Corticomotor Drive for Improved Hand Function

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 150 K
Funding amount
Abstract
Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) results in upper extremity (UE) functional impairments that can restrict independence, social participation, and overall quality of life. Evidence shows that short duration of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) can strengthen the transmission of information through the spared corticospinal pathways and improve UE functional recovery in individuals with tetraplegia. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which is a clinically accessible NIBS approach, has been used to modulate cortical plasticity and improve hand function. However, the high variability in the reported effects of tDCS raises questions about its clinical value and highlights the need to investigate more robust NIBS protocols. Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) is a novel NIBS approach that produces more consistent facilitatory effects compared to tDCS. TRNS delivers a low alternating current with a continuously changing intensity over a wide frequency range. Further, tRNS has excellent tolerability and no risk of skin burns since it is a polarity independent stimulation approach. When tRNS is applied over the motor cortex, it increases cortical excitability in the hand representation area and enhances motor learning in healthy adults. Despite the potential promise of tRNS in increasing corticomotor drive for improved motor performance, its application in persons with SCI is novel. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a unihemispheric 3-day combined tRNS and functional task practice (FTP) protocol on cortical excitability, motor and sensory function in persons with tetraplegia. We hypothesize that tRNS will augment to a greater extent the therapeutic effects of FMT. If tRNS can, indeed, modulate corticospinal excitability, it can be a promising tool to meaningfully advance neurorehabilitation research and therapeutic management in the field of SCI. (CHN: SCIRTS chn:wdg)
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System

Categories
  • FOR (ANZSRC)

    1109 Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Rehabilitation

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC

    Neurodegenerative

  • HRCS HC

    Neurological

  • Health Research Areas

    Biomedical

  • Broad Research Areas

    Clinical Medicine and Science