Results from a pre-clinical study measuring the long-term effects of repeated stimulation with a novel form of non-invasive stimulation to reduce spasticity in mice with spinal cord injury (SCI) are featured in the Journal of Physiology.

Following 7-day treatment with anodal tsDCS combined with peripheral nerve stimulation, referred to as “DoubleStim” treatment, mice with SCI experienced long-term reduction in spasticity, increased rate-dependent depression in spinal reflexes, and improved ground and skill locomotion, according to the NIH-funded study.

Additionally, pharmacological, molecular and cellular evidence uncovered a novel mechanism involving Na-K-Cl cotransporter isoform 1 (NKCC1) that mediates the long-term effects of repeated DoubleStim treatment and establishes a direct relationship between down-regulation of NKCC1 by DoubleStim and the reduction of spasticity.

“These data are very exciting and support the application of next-generation non-invasive interventions to improve the treatment of spasticity,” says Dr Zaghloul Ahmed, the study’s senior author, in a media release from PathMaker Neurosystems, located in Boston.

“Our previous published work established that application of this novel modality for short periods of time to mice with SCI led to an instantaneous reduction in spasticity. This new study demonstrated that DoubleStim not only contributed to a long-term reduction in spasticity but mediated its effects through a novel mechanism that downregulates NKCC1,” adds Ahmed, professor and chairman, Department of Physical Therapy; Professor, Center for Developmental Neuroscience, CUNY; and scientific founder of PathMaker Neurosystems.

“This fundamental paper is the first to establish a direct link between the emergence of spasticity and overexpression of a specific neuronal co-transporter responsible for maintaining chloride gradient,” says Nader Yaghoubi, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of PathMaker Neurosystems, the release continues.

“We now not only have a target for therapeutic intervention, but through the impressive work of the investigators, have demonstrated the mechanism by which our MyoRegulator device exerts its therapeutic effects in the treatment of spasticity.”

[Source(s): PathMaker Neurosystems, PR Newswire]