A Pilot Study of the Effect of Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation on Micturition-Related Brain Activity and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms After Stroke

Evgeniy I. Kreydin, Aidin Abedi, Veronica Stefania Montero, Luis Morales, Rita Jen, Laura Perez, Anibal La Riva, Priya Kohli, Charles Y. Liu, David A. Ginsberg, Parag Gad, V. Reggie Edgerton, Kay Jann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (TSCS) is a novel neuromodulation modality developed to promote functional restoration in patients with neurological injury or disease. Previous pilot data suggest that lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) due to stroke may be partially alleviated by TSCS. In this study, we examine the mechanism of this effect by evaluating bladder-related brain activity in patients before and after TSCS therapy and comparing it to healthy volunteers. Materials and Methods: Patients who developed storage LUTD after a stroke and healthy volunteers without LUTD were recruited. Patients and healthy volunteers underwent simultaneous urodynamics and functional MRI. Patients then completed 24 biweekly sessions of TSCS and underwent another simultaneous urodynamicsefunctional MRI study. Clinical outcomes were assessed using validated questionnaires and voiding diary. Results: Fifteen patients and 16 healthy volunteers completed the study. Following TSCS, patients exhibited increased blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in areas including periaqueductal grey, the insula, the lateral prefrontal cortex, and motor cortex. Prior to TSCS therapy, healthy controls exhibited higher blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in 17 regions, including multiple regions in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. These differences were attenuated after TSCS with no frontal brain differences remaining between healthy volunteers and stroke participants who completed therapy. Neuroimaging changes were complemented by clinically significant improvements in questionnaire scores and voiding diary parameters. Conclusions: TSCS therapy modulated bladder-related brain activity, reducing differences between healthy volunteers and stroke patients with LUTD. These changes, alongside improved clinical outcomes, suggest TSCS as a promising approach for LUTD management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-304
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urology
Volume211
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

Keywords

  • incontinence
  • neurogenic bladder
  • neuroimaging
  • neuromodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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