Corticospinal excitability changes following blood flow restriction training of the tibialis anterior: a preliminary study.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Heliyon, 2017, 3 (1), pp. e00217 - ?
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AIM: To examine the neural excitability of projections to the tibialis anterior (TA) following blood flow restriction training (BFRT). This is the first study to examine the TA following BFRT. METHODS: Ten subjects performed each experiment. Experiment one consisted of BFRT at 130 mmHg (BFRT-low). Experiment two consisted of BFRT at 200 mmHg (BFRT-high), training (TR-only) and blood flow restriction at 200 mmHg (BFR-only) performed on separate days. Blood flow restriction was applied to the thigh and training consisted of rapid dorsiflexion contractions against gravity every 10 s for 15-min. The motor evoked potential (MEP) peak-to-peak amplitudes were recorded pre-intervention and 1-, 10-, 20- and 30-min post-intervention and expressed relative to the maximal peak-to-peak M-wave at each time-point. RESULTS: Experiment one revealed no difference in MEP amplitudes for BFRT-low over time (P = 0.09). Experiment two revealed a significant effect of time (P < 0.001), with 1-min post-intervention MEP amplitudes significantly facilitated compared to pre-intervention, but no effect of intervention (P = 0.79) or intervention*time interaction (P = 0.25). Post-hoc power calculations were performed for the intervention*time interaction. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Corticospinal excitability of projections to the TA did not change following BFRT-low and corticospinal excitability changes between BFRT-high, BFR-only and TR-only interventions were not different over time. In experiment two, there was a significant main effect of time 1-min post-intervention which was mainly due to the BFRT-high intervention. Post-hoc power calculations revealed that 15 subjects were required for a significant interaction effect 80% of the time however, as the changes in corticospinal excitability were not prolonged, a new dataset of ≥ 15 subjects was not acquired.
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