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Vol. 40 No. 4, July/August 2003, Supplement

Physiological methods to measure motor function in humans and animals with spinal cord injury
Christine K. Thomas, PhD; Brian R. Noga, PhD
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Departments of Neurological Surgery, Physiology, and Biophysics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Abstract — This article compares some physiological methods commonly used to measure the functional capability of the motor system in humans and animals after spinal cord injury. Some of the differences between animal and human experimentation are considered first. Then we discuss how to meas- ure the effectiveness of conduction through the motor system. We describe ways to assess the integration of different inputs at the spinal cord and to measure the responsiveness of the neuromuscular system. We conclude that comparisons across species are invaluable to understand the control of movement, both before and after injury.
Key words: central nervous system regeneration, control of movement, electromyography, motor-evoked potential, neuromuscular adaptation, neuron excitability.

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