Apr 1, 2020

Entraining movement-related brain oscillations using rhythmic median nerve stimulation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
B. Morera MaiquezStephen R. Jackson


Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques delivered to cortical motor areas have been shown previously to: modulate cortical motor excitability; entrain brain oscillations; and influence motor behavior; and have therefore attracted considerable interest as potential therapeutic approaches targeted for the treatment of movement disorders. However, these techniques are most often not suitable for treatment outside of the clinic, or for use with young children. We therefore investigated directly whether rhythmic pulses of median nerve stimulation (MNS) could be used to entrain brain oscillations linked to the suppression of movement. Using electroencephalography techniques together with concurrent MNS we demonstrate that 10 pulses of rhythmic MNS, delivered at 19Hz, is sufficient to entrain Beta-band brain oscillations within the contralateral sensorimotor cortex, whereas 10-pulse trains of arrhythmic MNS does not. This approach has potential in our view to be developed into a non-drug therapeutic device suitable for use outside of the research laboratory or the clinic with brain health conditions associated by excessive movements.

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