Background: Sensory input via neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) may contribute to synchronization between motor cortex and spinal motor neurons and motor performance improvement in healthy adults and stroke patients. However, the optimal NMES parameters used to enhance physiological activity and motor performance remain unclear. In this study, we focused on sensory feedback induced by a beta-band frequency NMES (β-NMES) based on corticomuscular coherence (CMC) and investigated the effects of β-NMES on CMC and steady-state of isometric ankle dorsiflexion in healthy volunteers. Twenty-four participants received β-NMES at the peak beta-band CMC or fixed NMES (f-NMES) at 100 Hz on different days. NMES was applied to the right part of the common peroneal nerve for 20 min. The stimulation intensity was 95% of the motor threshold with a pulse width of 1 ms. The beta-band CMC and the coefficient of variation of force (Force CV) were assessed during isometric ankle dorsiflexion for 2 min. In the complementary experiment, we applied β-NMES to 14 participants and assessed beta-band CMC and motor evoked potentials (MEPs) with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Results: No significant changes in the means of beta-band CMC, Force CV, and MEPs were observed before and after NMES conditions. Changes in beta-band CMC were correlated to (a) changes in Force CV immediately, at 10 min, and at 20 min after β-NMES (all cases, p < 0.05) and (b) changes in MEPs immediately after β-NMES (p = 0.01). No correlations were found after f-NMES. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the sensory input via NMES was inadequate to change the beta-band CMC, corticospinal excitability, and voluntary motor output. Whereas, the β-NMES affects the relationship between changes in beta-band CMC, Force CV, and MEPs. These findings may provide the information to develop NMES parameters for neurorehabilitation in patients with motor dysfunction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience