Lesions of the spinal cord in humans are devastating and often lead to severe refractory forms of chronic pain. Also, enhanced sensitivity of spinal cord neurons – an abnormal condition called central sensitization – is crucial for the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Effective treatment of pain will depend critically on a better understanding of the electrophysiological changes that occur at spinal cord level. Still, the electrical activity of spinal cord neurons can be assessed only indirectly, unless invasive approaches are used. Due to serious anatomical and physiological hurdles, the availability of a non-invasive approach to measure the electrical activity of human spinal neurons (electrospinogram, ESG) is lacking. This is the problem that SpinRec aims to solve. The product resulting from SpinRec, compatible with simultaneous measures of brain activity (e.g. electroencephalography), will allow for the first time to directly explore spinal sensorimotor circuits in health and disease, and thereby allow cost efficient early diagnosis and stratification of patients with chronic pain and spinal cord injury.
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An easy-to-use garment for the non-invasive recording of the electrical activity of the human spinal cord