Selective co-stimulation of pudendal afferents enhances reflex bladder activation.
The loss of normal bladder function is common in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and negatively impacts their quality of life. Electrical stimulation of pudendal nerve afferents is a promising approach to restore control of bladder function. Pudendal afferent stimulation can generate reflex contraction of the bladder, but the resulting bladder voiding efficiency remains low. The objective of this work was t o evaluate selective co-stimulation of two branches of the pudendal nerve--the cranial urethral sensory nerve (CSN) and the dorsal nerve of the penis (DNP)--as a means to enhance reflex bladder activation and bladder voiding efficiency. In preclinical studies in anesthetized adult cats, co-stimulation of CSN and DNP evoked larger bladder contractions than individual stimulation of either CSN or DNP. In a parallel clinical experiment involving a participant with chronic SCI, co-stimulation of the proximal and distal urethra also produced synergistic augmentation of reflex bladder activity, and thus improved voiding efficiency when compared to reflex distension-evoked voiding. Selective co-stimulation of pudendal afferents is efficacious and should be considered in the development of neural prosthetics for restoration of bladder function in persons with SCI.
McGee, MJ; Yoo, PB; Grill, WM
Annual International Conference of the Ieee Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Ieee Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual International Conference
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