Effects of postural and voluntary muscle contraction on modulation of the soleus H reflex by transcranial magnetic stimulation

Guzman Lopez, J., Selvi, A., Solà-Valls, N., Casanova-Molla, J. and Valls-Solé, J. 2015. Effects of postural and voluntary muscle contraction on modulation of the soleus H reflex by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Experimental Brain Research. 233 (12), pp. 3425-3431. doi:10.1007/s00221-015-4417-3

TitleEffects of postural and voluntary muscle contraction on modulation of the soleus H reflex by transcranial magnetic stimulation
AuthorsGuzman Lopez, J., Selvi, A., Solà-Valls, N., Casanova-Molla, J. and Valls-Solé, J.
Abstract

Modulation of spinal reflexes depends largely on the integrity of the corticospinal tract. A useful method to document the influence of descending tracts on reflexes is to examine the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on the soleus H reflex elicited by posterior tibial nerve electrical stimuli (PTS). In 12 healthy volunteers, we investigated how postural or voluntary muscle contraction modified such descending modulation. We first characterized the effects of TMS at 95 % of motor threshold for leg responses on the H reflex elicited by a preceding PTS at inter-stimuli intervals (ISIs) between 0 and 120 ms at rest and, then, during voluntary plantar flexion (pf), dorsal flexion (df), and standing still (ss). During pf, there was an increase in the facilitation of the H reflex at ISIs 0-20 ms. During df, there were no effects of TMS on the H reflex. During ss, there was inhibition at ISIs 40-60 ms. Our observations suggest that muscle contraction prevails over the baseline effects of TMS on the soleus H reflex. While contraction of the antagonist (df) suppressed most of the effects, contraction of the agonist had different effects depending on the type of activity (pf or ss). The characterization of the interaction between descending corticospinal volleys and segmental peripheral inputs provides useful information on motor control for physiological research and further understanding of the effects of spinal cord lesions.

KeywordsBrain plasticity; H reflex; Motor reorganization; Propriospinal reflexes; Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Journal citation233 (12), pp. 3425-3431
ISSN0014-4819
Year2015
PublisherSpringer
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s00221-015-4417-3
Publication dates
Published20 Aug 2015

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