Intracranial somatosensory responses with direct spinal cord stimulation in anesthetized sheep. Academic Article uri icon


  • The efficacy of spinal cord stimulators is dependent on the ability of the device to functionally activate targeted structures within the spinal cord, while avoiding activation of near-by non-targeted structures. In theory, these objectives can best be achieved by delivering electrical stimuli directly to the surface of the spinal cord. The current experiments were performed to study the influence of different stimulating electrode positions on patterns of spinal cord electrophysiological activation. A custom-designed spinal cord neurostimulator was used to investigate the effects of lead position and stimulus amplitude on cortical electrophysiological responses to spinal cord stimulation. Brain recordings were obtained from subdural grids placed in four adult sheep. We systematically varied the position of the stimulating lead relative to the spinal cord and the voltage delivered by the device at each position, and then examined how these variables influenced cortical responses. A clear relationship was observed between voltage and electrode position, and the magnitude of high gamma-band oscillations. Direct stimulation of the dorsal column contralateral to the grid required the lowest voltage to evoke brain responses to spinal cord stimulation. Given the lower voltage thresholds associated with direct stimulation of the dorsal column, and its possible impact on the therapeutic window, this intradural modality may have particular clinical advantages over standard epidural techniques now in routine use.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

author list (cited authors)

  • Flouty, O. E., Oya, H., Kawasaki, H., Reddy, C. G., Fredericks, D. C., Gibson-Corley, K. N., ... Howard, M. A.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Flouty, Oliver E||Oya, Hiroyuki||Kawasaki, Hiroto||Reddy, Chandan G||Fredericks, Douglas C||Gibson-Corley, Katherine N||Jeffery, Nicholas D||Gillies, George T||Howard, Matthew A

editor list (cited editors)

  • Tonn, J.

publication date

  • February 2013