Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological condition characterized by a constellation of symptoms including paralysis, paraesthesia, pain, cardiovascular, bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction. Current treatment for SCI involves acute resuscitation, aggressive rehabilitation and symptomatic treatment for complications. Despite the progress in scientific understanding, regenerative therapies are lacking. In this review, we outline the current state and future potential of invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation strategies including deep brain stimulation (DBS), spinal cord stimulation (SCS), motor cortex stimulation (MCS), transcutaneous direct current stimulation (tDCS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the context of SCI. We consider the ability of these therapies to address pain, sensorimotor symptoms and autonomic dysregulation associated with SCI. In addition to the potential to make important contributions to SCI treatment, neuromodulation has the added ability to contribute to our understanding of spinal cord neurobiology and the pathophysiology of SCI.
Keywords: deep brain stimulation; neuromodulation; spinal cord injury; spinal cord stimulation.