Study design:Cross-sectional study.Objectives:The present study aims to analyze and correlate the interlimb reflexes (ILRs), through a standard methodology, in tetraplegic and healthy subjects. The study of the connectivity between the injured spinal cord and the ILR transmission empowers new rehabilitation pathways for tetraplegic patients.Setting:University Hospital - UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil.Methods:A total of 15 chronic tetraplegic patients and 10 healthy subjects were analyzed with the same methodology. Two tests were performed: (i) In test 1, the stimulus was applied to the right-arm radial nerve and the electromyography (EMG) signal collected in contralateral left tibial muscle. (ii) In test 2, the stimulus was applied to the left-leg fibular nerve and EMG collected in contralateral limb biceps, exploring the opposite direction of the pathway. In both tests, the subjects were stimulated with intensities from 5 to 30 mA (5 mA step) and 40 × 500 μs current modulated pulses. Reflexes were detected from the averaging of the 40 EMG sweeps.Results:Each group was analyzed with regard to the reflexes' incidence, amplitude and latency. ILRs were found with similar prominence in both groups. A correlation between the ILR amplitude and the subject injury level was verified. Significant differences were found in the correlation of ILR latency with stimulation charge between healthy and tetraplegic subjects.Conclusion:The ILR transmission parameters of healthy and tetraplegic subjects were studied. The results obtained strongly suggest a different ILR transmission between healthy and tetraplegic subjects, reinforcing the hypothesis of nerve regeneration after injury.
- CUTANEOUS REFLEXES
- SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY