Effects of event-related electrical stimulation on motor evoked potentials at the submental muscle group

Sebastian Doeltgen, M. Huckabee, J. Dalrymple-Alford, M. Ridding, G. O'Beirne

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Purpose: Research into the effects of electrical stimulation of thesubmental muscles group at rest has been contradictory and themajority of reports have evaluated changes in swallowing biomechanics. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of eventrelated electrical stimulation at different frequencies on transcranialmagnetic stimulation (TMS) triggered motor evoked potentials (MEP)of the submental muscle.Methods: Event-related electrical stimulation was provided to thesubmental muscles at four frequencies (5 Hz, 20 Hz, 40 Hz and80 Hz), and at a stimulus duration of 4 sec after each of 60 volitionalswallows. MEPs were recorded pre-stimulation and atResults: There was a significant interaction of frequency by time(p = .013). For 5 Hz, 20 Hz and 40 Hz stimulation, MEP amplitudereduced maximally at 60 min and then recovered. By contrast, MEPamplitude increased after 80 Hz stimulation, this effect being maximal at 60 min post treatment. Post treatment changes in MEP amplitude were significantly different at 30 min (p = .014) and60 min (p = .003).Conclusion: Event-related electrical stimulation of the submental muscle group at 80 Hz provides short term facilitation of MEPs recorded at the same muscles during volitional muscle contraction, while MEP inhibition occurs after 5 Hz, 20 Hz and 40 Hz stimulation. Future research will determine if these effects translate to changes in functional swallowing biomechanics. This evaluation may enhance our understanding of the contribution of direct corticobulbar tracts to swallowing execution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventSeventeenth Annual Dysphagia Research Society Meeting -
Duration: 4 Mar 20097 Mar 2009


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