Exploration of sensations evoked during electrical stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist level

Nebojsa Malesevic, Frida Lindén, Lycke Fureby, Carolina Rudervall, Anders Björkman, Christian Antfolk

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Objective. Nerve rehabilitation following nerve injury or surgery at the wrist level is a lengthy process during which not only peripheral nerves regrow towards receptors and muscles, but also the brain undergoes plastic changes. As a result, at the time when nerves reach their targets, the brain might have already allocated some of the areas within the somatosensory cortex that originally processed hand signals to some other regions of the body. The aim of this study is to show that it is possible to evoke a variety of somatotopic sensations related to the hand while stimulating proximally to the injury, therefore, providing the brain with the relevant inputs from the hand regions affected by the nerve damage. Approach. This study included electrical stimulation of 28 able-bodied participants where an electrode that acted as a cathode was placed above the Median nerve at the wrist level. The parameters of electrical stimulation, amplitude, frequency, and pulse shape, were modulated within predefined ranges to evaluate their influence on the evoked sensations. Main results. Using this methodology, the participants reported a wide variety of somatotopic sensations from the hand regions distal to the stimulation electrode. Significance. Furthermore, to propose an accelerated stimulation tuning procedure that could be implemented in a clinical protocol and/or standalone device for providing meaningful sensations to the somatosensory cortex during nerve regeneration, we trained machine-learning techniques using the gathered data to predict the location/area, naturalness, and sensation type of the evoked sensations following different stimulation patterns.

TidskriftJournal of Neural Engineering
StatusPublished - 2023 dec.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Neurovetenskaper


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