Mapping of sensory electrical responses to epidural spinal cord stimulation
Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord for therapeutic purpose has been performed since the early 1970s with variable success. More recently the application of spinal cord stimulation to treat ischemic peripheral vascular disease has been popularized in Europe. Exact electrode positioning in the spinal canal is a key factor in providing successful stimulation (4). Unfortunately, there are no published guidelines to intraspinal electrode(s) placement backed by a substantial number of observations in a large number of patients. This contrasts with the detailed observations obtained systematically, for instance, during stereotactic procedures in the deep brain structures. Our efforts have been directed in developing a database of responses to electrical stimulation of the neural intraspinal structures at various spine levels (2, 3, 5–8). All the testing and data collection was performed by professionals working full time in our neuroimplant program and with standardized electrical parameters. This minimized deviations from the protocol and assured a high degree of uniformity and reliability in the data.
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