Study design: This is a randomized controlled prospective trial with two parallel groups.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine whether early application of tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES)-induced walking training can improve the locomotor function.
Setting: This study was conducted in SCS Research Center in Colorado, USA.
Methods: A contusion injury to spinal cord T10 was produced using the New York University impactor device with a 25 -mm height setting in female, adult Long-Evans rats. Injured rats were randomly divided into two groups (n=12 per group). One group was subjected to TANES-induced walking training 2 weeks post injury, and the other group, as control, received no TANES-induced walking training. Restorations of behavior and conduction were assessed using the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan open-field rating scale, horizontal ladder rung walking test and electrophysiological test (Hoffmann reflex).
Results: Early application of TANES-induced walking training significantly improved the recovery of locomotor function and benefited the restoration of Hoffmann reflex.
Conclusion: TANES-induced walking training is a useful method to promote locomotor recovery in rats with spinal cord injury.