Noninvasive spinal neuromodulation to map and augment lower urinary tract function in rhesus macaques

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Experimental Neurology, 2019, 322
Issue Date:
2019-12-01
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© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Dysfunction of the lower urinary tract (LUT) is prevalent in neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative conditions. Common symptoms include urgency, incontinence, and urinary retention. Recent advances in neuromodulation have resulted in improved treatments for overactive bladder symptoms of urgency, frequency, and nocturia. However, there are presently no treatments available for the induction of voiding to overcome urinary retention. We demonstrate that transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (TSCS), a non-invasive intervention, applied over the thoracolumbar spine in neurologically intact rhesus macaques can activate the LUT, including activation of the bladder detrusor muscle, the urethral sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. Urodynamic studies show improved voiding efficiency and decreased post-voiding residual volumes in the bladder, while maintaining coordinated activity in the detrusor and sphincter with physiologic detrusor peak pressure, contraction duration, and urine flow rate remaining unchanged. We conclude that TSCS may represent a novel approach to activate the LUT and enable voiding in select neurological conditions.
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