In recent years, many researches put significant efforts into understanding and assessing the functional
state of the spinal locomotor circuits in humans. Various techniques have been developed to stimulate the spinal
cord circuitries, which may include both diffuse and quite specific tuning effects. Overall, the findings indicate
that tonic and rhythmic spinal activity control are not separate phenomena but are closely integrated to properly
initiate and sustain stepping. The spinal cord does not simply transmit information to and from the brain. Its
physiologic state determines reflex, postural and locomotor control and, therefore, may affect the recovery of the
locomotor function in individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries. This review summarizes studies that examine
the rhythmogenesis capacity of cervical and lumbosacral neuronal circuitries in humans and its importance in
developing central pattern generator-modulating therapies.
Keywords: Central pattern generator, spinal cord, rhythmogenesis, muscle tone, neuromodulators, sensory input, Kohnstamm phenomenon,
electromagnetic stimulation, locomotion.
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