Primary somatosensory evoked magnetic fields elicited by sacral surface electrical stimulation

Mabumi Matsushita, Nobukazu Nakasato, Haruo Nakagawa, Akitake Kanno, Yasuhiro Kaiho, Yoichi Arai

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To explore the brain response to sacral surface therapeutic electrical stimulation (SSTES) for the treatment of refractory urinary incontinence and frequent micturition, evoked magnetic fields were measured in six healthy males. Electrical stimuli were applied between bilateral surface electrodes over the second through fourth posterior sacral foramens with intensity just below the pain threshold. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) for the bilateral median (MN) and posterior tibial nerves (PTN) were also measured for the comparison. Sources of the early SEF peaks were superimposed on individual magnetic resonance images. The first peak latency for sacral stimuli, M30, occurred at 30.2 ± 0.8 ms (mean ± standard deviation, N = 6), with shorter latency than those for PTN stimulus (39.3 ± 1.4 ms, N = 12) and longer latency than those for MN stimulus (21.0 ± 0.9 ms, N = 12). The second peak latency for sacral stimuli, M50, occurred at 47.2 ± 2.9 ms (N = 6). Both M30 and M50 peaks showed a single dipole pattern over the vertex in the isofield maps. The equivalent current dipoles of M30 and M50 were both estimated near the medial end of the central sulcus with approximately posterior current direction. These results suggest that the sacral M30 and M50 are responses from the primary somatosensory cortex. The relatively long time lag between the onset and peak of M30 suggests that SSTES directly affects both the cauda equina and cutaneous nerve of the sacral surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan 24


  • Electrical stimulation therapy
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Neurogenic urinary bladder
  • Somatosensory cortex
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials


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