Low-Intensity Electrical Stimulation and Stem Cells in a Dog with Acute Spinal Cord Injury

Eddy Krueger, Lidiane Magri, Agatha Botelho, Fernando Bach, Carmen Rebelatto, Letícia Fracaro, Felipe Fragoso, José Villanova JR, Paulo Brofman, and Lana Popovic-Maneski


Electrotherapy, Neural Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury, Stem Cells


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is classified as neurological disorder that affects motor and sensory function below the injury level. Studies show that application of low-intensity electrical stimulation (LIES) to neural tissue increases neurochemical factors responsible for regeneration as nerve growth factor. Stem cell (SC) therapy for patients with SCI can result in the replacement of injured neurons after trauma. The electromechanical delay (EMD) is defined as time elapsed between the onset of muscle electrical activation and onset of force production. A dog diagnosed with incomplete thoracolumbar SCI followed by disc hernia between the vertebral segments L1 and L2, was evaluated by electromyography and mechanomyography after surgical decompression procedure, one SC transplantation and LIES. We observed motor response and decrease in the EMD from 8.25ms to 5.75ms after the procedures. The wavelet decomposition of EMG signals showed reestablishment of vastus lateralis muscle activity 30 days after the procedure. In addition, the EMGRMS increased from 3.3 µVRMS to 157 µVRMS. The preliminary results of this case report indicate positive effects of the hybrid therapy involving stem cells and low-intensity electrical stimulation after surgical decompression.

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