Movement-Related Somatosensory Activity Is Altered in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis
During active movement the somatosensory cortical responses are often attenuated. This attenuation is referred to as movement-related sensory gating. It is well known that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have sensory processing deficits, and recent work has also suggested that these patients display impaired motor control of the ankle musculature. The primary goal of the current study was to: (1) examine the movement-related somatosensory gating in patients with MS and demographically-matched controls, and (2) identify the relationship between the sensory gating and motor control of the ankle musculature. To this end, we used magnetoencephalography brain imaging to assess the neural responses to a tibial nerve electrical stimulation that was applied at rest (passive) and during an ankle plantarflexion motor task (active condition). All participants also completed an ankle isometric motor control task that was performed outside the scanner. Our results indicated that the controls, but not patients with MS, exhibited significantly reduced somatosensory responses during the active relative to passive conditions, and that patients with MS had stronger responses compared with controls during the active condition. Additionally, control of the ankle musculature was related to the extent of movement-related sensory attenuation, with poor motor control being associated with reduced gating. Overall, these results show that patients with MS do not attenuate the somatosensory cortical activity during motor actions, and that the inability to modulate somatosensory cortical activity is partially related to the poor ankle motor control seen in these patients.
KeywordsSensory gating Cortical Motor control Ankle Lower extremity
Partial funding for this experimental work was provided by the University of Nebraska Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (NSF #1539067).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Campbell JD, Ghushchyan V, Brett McQueen R, Cahoon-Metzger S, Livingston T, Vollmer T, Corboy J, Miravalle A, Schreiner T, Porter V, Nair K (2014) Burden of multiple sclerosis on direct, indirect costs and quality of life: National US estimates. Mult Scler Relat Disord 3(2):227–236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Christou E, Tracy B (2006) Aging and variability in motor output. In: Davids K, Bennet S, Newell K (eds) Movement system variability. Human Kinetics, Champaign, pp 199–215Google Scholar
- Ellis T, Motl RW (2013). Physical activity behavior change in persons with neurologic disorders: overview and examples from Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis. J Neurol 37:85–90Google Scholar
- Manson SC, Wegner C, Filippi M, Barkhof F, Beckmann C, Ciccarelli O, De Stefano N et al (2008) Impairment of movement-associated brain deactivation in multiple sclerosis: further evidence for a functional pathology of interhemispheric neuronal inhibition. Exp Brain Res 187(1):25–31CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Phys Ther 37(2):85–90Google Scholar
- Rocca MA, Valsasina P, Leavitt VM, Rodegher M, Riccitelli GC, Martinelli V, Martinelli-Boeschi F, Falini A, Comi G, Filippi M (2017). Functional network connectivity abnormalities in multiple sclerosis: correlations with disability and cognitive impairment. Mult Scler (in press)Google Scholar
- Saradjian AH (2015). Sensory modulation of movement, posture and locomotion. Neurophysiol Clin 45(4–5):255–267Google Scholar
- Talairach G, Tournoux P (1998) Co-planar stereotaxic Atlas of the human brain. Thieme, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Wasaka T, Nakata H, Kida T, Kakigi R (2005). Gating of SEPs by contraction of the contralateral homologous muscle during the preparatory period of self-initiated plantar flexion. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res 23(2–3):354–360Google Scholar