Kinetics of neuromuscular changes during low-frequency electrical stimulation

Maria Papaiordanidou 1 David Guiraud 2 Alain Varray 3
2 DEMAR - Artificial movement and gait restoration
CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée , LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
Abstract : The purpose of the study was to examine the time course of neuromuscular fatigue components during a low-frequency electrostimulation (ES) session. Three bouts of 17 trains of stimulation at 30 HZ (4 s on, 6 s off) were used to electrically induce fatigue in the plantar flexor muscles. Before and after every 17-train bout, torque, electromyographic activity [expressed as root mean square (RMS) and median frequency (MF) values], evoked potentials (M-wave and H-reflex), and the level of voluntary activation (LOA, using twitch interpolation technique) were assessed. Torque during maximal voluntary contraction decreased significantly from the very first stimulation bout (-6.6 +/- 1.11%, P < 0.001) and throughout the session (-10.32 +/- 1.68% and -11.53 +/- 1.27%, for the second and third bouts, respectively). The LOA and RMS/Mmax values were significantly decreased during the ES session (-2.9 +/- 1.07% and -17.5 +/- 6.14%, P < 0.01 and P< 0.001, respectively, at the end of the protocol), while MF showed no changes. The Hmax/Mmax ratio and Mmax were not significantly modified during the session. All twitch parameters were significantly potentiated after the first bout and throughout the session (P < 0.001). The maximal torque decrease was evident from the early phase of a low-frequency ES protocol, with no concomitant inhibition of motoneuron excitability or depression of muscle contractile properties. These results are consistent with an early failure of the central drive to the muscle.
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Maria Papaiordanidou, David Guiraud, Alain Varray. Kinetics of neuromuscular changes during low-frequency electrical stimulation. Muscle and Nerve, Wiley, 2010, 41 (1), pp.54-62. ⟨10.1002/mus.21427⟩. ⟨lirmm-00405225v2⟩

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