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Optimal stimulation parameters for spinal and corticospinal excitabilities during contraction, motor imagery and rest: A pilot study

Abstract : Objectives: It is commonly accepted that motor imagery (MI), i.e. the mental simulation of a movement, leads to an increased size of cortical motor evoked potentials (MEPs), although the magnitude of this effect differs between studies. Its impact on the spinal level is even more variable in the literature. Such discrepancies may be explained by many different experimental approaches. Therefore, the question of the optimal stimulation parameters to assess both spinal and corticospinal excitabilities remains open. Methods: H-reflexes and MEPs of the triceps surae were evoked in 11 healthy subjects during MI, weak voluntary contraction (CON) and rest (REST). In each condition, the full recruitment curve from the response threshold to maximal potential was investigated. Results: At stimulation intensities close to the maximal response, MEP amplitude was increased by CON compared to REST on the triceps surae. No effect of the different conditions was found on the H-reflex recruitment curve, except a small variation beyond maximal H-reflex in the soleus muscle. Conclusion: Based on our results, we recommend to assess corticospinal excitability between 70% and 100% of maximal MEP intensity instead of the classical use of a percentage of the motor threshold and to elicit H-reflexes on the ascending part of the recruitment curve.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 3:09:24 PM
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Amandine Bouguetoch, Sidney Grosprêtre, Alain Martin. Optimal stimulation parameters for spinal and corticospinal excitabilities during contraction, motor imagery and rest: A pilot study. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (6), pp.e0235074. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0235074⟩. ⟨inserm-02904688⟩

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