Pulsed Magnetic Stimulation - Managing Spasticity in Spinal Cord Injury

2019-07-16 10:38:51 | BioPortfolio


Spasticity (tightening, spasming and/or contractions of muscles) is a commonly encountered consequence of injuries to the central nervous system. Spasticity has an adverse effect on quality of life and function of patients with spinal cord injuries, stroke and cerebral palsy. Conventional management consists of medication, injections of botulinum toxin and occasionally extensive surgical interventions. Several studies have examined the use of repetitive magnetic stimulation of the brain and of peripheral nerves to produce long-term depression of spasticity. Recently, Theta burst sequence low-dose magnetic stimulation has been shown to mark unused synaptic connections for deletion. By using pulsed magnetic stimulation of the spinal cord the abnormal connections arising from injury may be identified for deletion, therefore potentially minimising the mis-firing circuits.

The investigators plan, in this pilot study, to test whether firstly the application of pulsed magnetic stimulation of the spinal cord is achievable in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and secondly whether it has an effect on lower limb spasticity.

These results will be used to help design a larger trial, to expand the numbers of participants and variety of pathologies treated.

Participants (in-patients at the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries) with stable SCI will be randomised to receive either intermittent pulsed magnetic stimulation or no stimulation. Patients will be blinded as to whether they are receiving stimulation (the machine will be active up and placed in the same position for both groups, except the sham group will have the stimulation coil applied in an orientation that does not deliver the magnetic field to the spinal cord).


The investigators are trying to understand the potential for low-dose magnetic stimulation to reduce unwanted symptoms including spasticity following a spinal cord injury. After an injury to the spinal cord the nerves within the spinal cord below the level of the injury reorganise themselves. This leads to unwanted connections producing a condition known as spasticity. Spasticity is experienced by patients as unwanted muscle stiffness. In patients with some sensation this can cause pain and can often lead to problems with bones and joints and difficulties with positioning for seating and standing. Along with spasticity, altered functioning in the nerves that control blood pressure, sweating, bowel and bladder can all create difficulties for someone who has had such an injury.

It is now known that the nervous system reorganises itself on a continuous basis even after humans have finished growing. For example, it has to do this so that we can form memories and learn. This process is necessary in healthy life and is regulated by an army of cells that roam through the central nervous system including the spinal cord. These cells known as microglial cells act as gardeners, pruning connections that aren't needed and strengthening connections that are needed. From recent work in the field of biology it is now understood that a chemical called complement is used as a marker a bit like paint on a tree that is to be trimmed, to tell the microglial cells where to cut or where to strengthen. Very low level pulsed magnetic stimulation can mark connections that need to be trimmed so that the microglial cells can go about their job. The investigators want to identify whether by using a very low dose of magnetic stimulation we could reduce the abnormal connections in the spinal cord that cause spasticity. The investigators believe this is a very safe treatment because it is using magnetic stimulation on the spinal cord at a 10th of the level that is commonly used on the brain.

Study Design


Spinal Cord Injuries


Sub-threshold intermittent pulsed magnetic stimulation, Sham


The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
United Kingdom
SY10 7AG




Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District NHS Trust

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-07-16T10:38:51-0400

Clinical Trials [4949 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

The main objective is to conduct a study protocol to investigate the effects of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) on sensory and motor performance of individuals with inc...

Corticospinal Excitability After rTMS in Spinal Cord Injury Patients

A crossover trial with spinal cord injury volunteers will be conducted. Three sessions will be performed once a week in a counterbalanced order and at least with seven days washout period ...

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Upper Limb Dysfunction in Spinal Cord Injury: a Feasibility Study

This study will investigate how repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) using intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) paradigm affects sensorimotor dysfunction such as pain,...

The Biophysical Impact of Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Within a Single Session

To determine the biophysical impact of biophysical Impact of Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation (TSCS) within a single session. We hypothesize that subjects will demonstrate increased ...

Brain and Nerve Stimulation for Hand Muscles in Spinal Cord Injury and ALS

Most neurological injuries such as spinal cord injuries (SCI) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) spare a portion of nerve circuitry. Strengthening spared nerve circuits may be an impo...

PubMed Articles [10070 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Modulation of Spinal Nociceptive Transmission by Sub-Sensory Threshold Spinal Cord Stimulation in Rats After Nerve Injury.

High-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) administered below the sensory threshold (subparesthetic) can inhibit pain, but the mechanisms remain obscure. We examined how different SCS paradigms appl...

Repeatability of spinal reflexes of lower limb muscles evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation.

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation is a relatively new technique to evoke spinal reflexes in lower limb muscles. The advantage of this technique is that the spinal reflex responses can be obtained ...

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Exploration of the Human Brain During 10 kHz Spinal Cord Stimulation for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Resting State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

Apart from the clinical efficacy of high frequency spinal cord stimulation at 10 kHz, the underlying mechanism of action remains unclear. In parallel with spinal or segmental theories, supraspinal hyp...

Unexpected foreign body in the bladder of a spinal cord injured patient: A case report.

Bladder dysfunction is common in patients with spinal cord injuries. Clean intermittent catheterization is a preferred method of neurogenic bladder management among spinal cord injured patients. Some ...

Salvage therapy with burst spinal cord stimulation for chronic pancreattis: A case report.

Pain associated with chronic pancreatitis is often difficult to treat. On many occasions, interventional techniques may be necessary. In recent years, spinal cord stimulation techniques have been used...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Application of electric current to the spine for treatment of a variety of conditions involving innervation from the spinal cord.

Pathologic conditions which feature SPINAL CORD damage or dysfunction, including disorders involving the meninges and perimeningeal spaces surrounding the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries, vascular diseases, infections, and inflammatory/autoimmune processes may affect the spinal cord.

Reduced blood flow to the spinal cord which is supplied by the anterior spinal artery and the paired posterior spinal arteries. This condition may be associated with ARTERIOSCLEROSIS, trauma, emboli, diseases of the aorta, and other disorders. Prolonged ischemia may lead to INFARCTION of spinal cord tissue.

Repair of the damaged neuron function after SPINAL CORD INJURY or SPINAL CORD DISEASES.

Pathological processes involving any of the BLOOD VESSELS feeding the SPINAL CORD, such as the anterior and paired posterior spinal arteries or their many branches. Disease processes may include ATHEROSCLEROSIS; EMBOLISM; and ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATIONS leading to ISCHEMIA or HEMORRHAGE into the spinal cord (hematomyelia).

More From BioPortfolio on "Pulsed Magnetic Stimulation - Managing Spasticity in Spinal Cord Injury"

Quick Search

Relevant Topics

Spinal Cord Disorders
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back which carry signals back and forth between the body and brain. It is protected by vertebrae, which are the bone disks that make up the spine. An accident that damages the verte...

Neurology - Central Nervous System (CNS)
Alzheimer's Disease Anesthesia Anxiety Disorders Autism Bipolar Disorders Dementia Epilepsy Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Neurology Pain Parkinson's Disease Sleep Disorders Neurology is the branch of me...

Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing as well as dispensing drugs and medicines. It is a health profession that links health sciences with chemical sciences and aims to ensure the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs. The scope of...

Searches Linking to this Trial