Supraspinal interactions resulting from experimental dorsal column stimulation

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✓ Experiments were performed on rhesus monkeys to examine the hypothesis that stimulation with dorsal column electrodes of the type implanted clinically could alter the responses evoked in supraspinal nuclei through pathways in the ventral quadrant of the spinal cord. Dorsal column stimulation did produce changes in responses evoked in supraspinal nuclei; this effect could not be ascribed to a conduction block in ascending pathways. These results suggest that the mechanism of action of the dorsal column stimulator need not be dependent on interactions in the dorsal horn.

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Address reprint requests to: James R. Bloedel, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, B-590 Mayo Memorial Building, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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    Recording of effect of dorsal column stimulation on responses evoked in the parafascicular nucleus by stimulation of pathways in the ventral quadrant (VQ). Frequencies are shown on the left. Dorsal column stimulation was applied continuously throughout the trials at the indicated frequencies. In this and all successive figures, negative voltage is upward, and the arrow indicates the time at which the stimulus is applied. Responses were summed 128 times.

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    Recording of effect of dorsal column stimulation on the responses evoked in the primary (SI) and secondary (SII) cortical areas by stimulation of pathways in the ventral quadrants (VQ). Notice that the amplitude of the long-latency component of the response evoked in SII was more reduced than those of the responses in SI. Responses were summed 128 times.

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    Recording of the effect of dorsal column stimulation on the conduction in spinal pathways. The response evoked by stimulation of the dorsal columns was conditioned by stimuli applied with a commercially available dorsal column stimulator (DC) located between the recording and stimulating electrode. Responses were summed 8 times. The voltage and frequency of stimulation are shown on the far left.

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