Potential interests and limits of magnetic and electrical stimulation techniques to assess neuromuscular fatigue

G. Y. Millet*, D. Bachasson, J. Temesi, B. Wuyam, L. Féasson, S. Vergès, P. Lévy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Neuromuscular function can change under different conditions such as ageing, training/detraining, long-term spaceflight, environmental conditions (e.g. hypoxia, hyperthermia), disease, therapy/retraining programs and also with the appearance of fatigue. Neuromuscular fatigue can be defined as any decrease in maximal voluntary strength or power. There is no standardized method to induce fatigue and various protocols involving different contraction patterns (such as sustained or intermittent submaximal isometric or dynamic contractions on isokinetic or custom chairs) have been used. Probably due to lack of motivation/cooperation, results of fatigue resistance protocols are more variable in patients than in healthy subjects. Magnetic and electrical stimulation techniques allow non-invasive assessment of central and peripheral origins of fatigue. They also allow investigation of different types of muscle fatigue when combining various types of stimulation with force/surface EMG measurements. Since maximal electrical stimuli may be uncomfortable or even sometimes painful, several alternative methods have been recently proposed: submaximal muscle stimulation, low/high-frequency paired pulses instead of tetanic stimuli and the use of magnetic stimulation at the peripheral level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S181-S186
Number of pages6
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Early online date23 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


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