Behavioral recovery induced by applied electric fields after spinal cord hemisection in guinea pig

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Science  16 Oct 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4825, pp. 366-369
DOI: 10.1126/science.3659920


Applied electric fields were used to promote axonal regeneration in spinal cords of adult guinea pigs. A propriospinal intersegmental reflex (the cutaneous trunci muscle reflex) was used to test lateral tract function after hemisection of the thoracic spinal cord. An electrical field (200 microvolts per millimeter, cathode rostral) applied across the lesion led to functional recovery of the cutaneous trunci muscle reflex in 25 percent of experimental animals, whereas the functional deficit remained in control animals, which were implanted with inactive stimulators.