Electrical stimulation for the treatment of lower urinary tract dysfunction after spinal cord injury.
Electrical stimulation for bladder control is an alternative to traditional methods of treating neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) resulting from spinal cord injury (SCI). In this review, we systematically discuss the neurophysiology of bladder dysfunction following SCI and the applications of electrical stimulation for bladder control following SCI, spanning from historic clinical approaches to recent pre-clinical studies that offer promising new strategies that may improve the feasibility and success of electrical stimulation therapy in patients with SCI. Electrical stimulation provides a unique opportunity to control bladder function by exploiting neural control mechanisms. Our understanding of the applications and limitations of electrical stimulation for bladder control has improved due to many pre-clinical studies performed in animals and translational clinical studies. Techniques that have emerged as possible opportunities to control bladder function include pudendal nerve stimulation and novel methods of stimulation, such as high frequency nerve block. Further development of novel applications of electrical stimulation will drive progress towards effective therapy for SCI. The optimal solution for restoration of bladder control may encompass a combination of efficient, targeted electrical stimulation, possibly at multiple locations, and pharmacological treatment to enhance symptom control.
McGee, MJ; Amundsen, CL; Grill, WM
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