Spasms after spinal cord injury show low-frequency intermuscular coherence

Stefane A. Aguiar, Stuart N. Baker, Katie Gant, Jorge Bohorquez, Christine K. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intermuscular coherence allows the investigation of common input to muscle groups. Although beta-band (15–30 Hz) intermuscular coherence is well understood as originating from the cortex, the source of intermuscular coherence at lower frequencies is still unclear. We used a wearable device that recorded electromyographic (EMG) signals during a 24-h period in four lower limb muscles of seven spinal cord injury patients (American Spinal Cord Injury Association impairment scale: A, 6 subjects; B, 1 subject) while they went about their normal daily life activities. We detected natural spasms occurring during these long-lasting recordings and calculated intermuscular coherence between all six possible combinations of muscle pairs. There was significant intermuscular coherence at low frequencies, between 2 and 13 Hz. The most likely source for this was the spinal cord and its peripheral feedback loops, because the spinal lesions in these patients had interrupted connections to supraspinal structures. This is the first report to demonstrate that the spinal cord is capable of producing low-frequency intermuscular coherence with severely reduced or abolished descending drive. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first report to demonstrate that intermuscular coherence between lower limb muscles at low frequencies can be produced by the spinal cord with severely reduced or abolished descending drive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1765-1771
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume120
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • EMG-EMG coherence
  • Spasms
  • Spinal circuitry
  • Spinal cord
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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