Corticospinal output and loss of force during motor fatigue

Rösler, Kai M; Scheidegger, O; Magistris, M R (2009). Corticospinal output and loss of force during motor fatigue. Experimental brain research, 197(2), pp. 111-23. Berlin: Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00221-009-1897-z

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The objective of this study was to analyze central motor output changes in relation to contraction force during motor fatigue. The triple stimulation technique (TST, Magistris et al. in Brain 121(Pt 3):437-450, 1998) was used to quantify a central conduction index (CCI = amplitude ratio of central conduction response and peripheral nerve response, obtained simultaneously by the TST). The CCI removes effects of peripheral fatigue from the quantification. It allows a quantification of the percentage of the entire target muscle motor unit pool driven to discharge by a transcranial magnetic stimulus. Subjects (n = 23) performed repetitive maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) of abductor digiti minimi (duration 1 s, frequency 0.5 Hz) during 2 min. TST recordings were obtained every 15 s, using stimulation intensities sufficient to stimulate all cortical motor neurons (MNs) leading to the target muscle, and during voluntary contractions of 20% of the MVC to facilitate the responses. TST was also repetitively recorded during recovery. This basic exercise protocol was modified in a number of experiments to further characterize influences on CCI of motor fatigue (4 min exercise at 50% MVC; delayed fatigue recovery during local hemostasis, "stimulated exercise" by 20 Hz trains of 1 s duration at 0.5 Hz during 2 min). In addition, the cortical silent period was measured during the basic exercise protocol. Force fatigued to approximately 40% of MVC in all experiments and in all subjects. In all subjects, CCI decreased during exercise, but this decrease varied markedly between subjects. On average, CCI reductions preceded force reductions during exercise, and CCI recovery preceded force recovery. Exercising at 50% for 4 min reduced muscle force more markedly than CCI. Hemostasis induced by a cuff delayed muscle force recovery, but not CCI recovery. Stimulated exercise reduced force markedly, but CCI decreased only marginally. Summarized, force reduction and reduction of the CCI related poorly quantitatively and in time, and voluntary drive was particularly critical to reduce the CCI. The fatigue induced reduction of CCI may result from a central inhibitory phenomenon. Voluntary muscle activation is critical for the CCI reduction, suggesting a primarily supraspinal mechanism.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Rösler, Kai Michael, Scheidegger, Olivier








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04 Oct 2013 15:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:21

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URI: (FactScience: 195169)

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