Control of bladder function by electrical activation of spinal neural circuits
Loss of bladder function has significant medical and quality of life impact. We are developing a novel approach to restoration of bladder function by electrical stimulation of afferent nerve fibers in the pudendal nerve. Stimulation of genital afferent fibers inhibits bladder contraction in both cat and human. Stimulation of urethral afferent nerve fibers excites the bladder causing micturition-like responses in cat. These results support the feasibility of restoration of both continence and micturition by activation of spinal reflex circuits via selective electrical stimulation of pudendal afferent nerve fibers.