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      Dynamics of corticospinal changes during and after high-intensity quadriceps exercise.

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          Abstract

          This study tested the hypothesis that during fatiguing quadriceps exercise, supraspinal fatigue develops late, is associated with both increased corticospinal excitability and inhibition and recovers quickly. Eight subjects performed 20 s contractions [15 s at 50% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) followed by 5 s MVC] separated by a 10 s rest period until task failure. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electrical femoral nerve stimulation (PNS) were delivered ∼ 2 s apart during 50% MVC, during MVC and after MVC in relaxed muscle. Voluntary activation was assessed by TMS (VATMS) immediately before and after exercise and then three times over a 6 min recovery period. During exercise, MVC and twitch force evoked by PNS in relaxed muscle decreased progressively to 48 ± 8 and 36 ± 16% of control values, respectively (both P < 0.01). Significant changes in voluntary activation assessed by PNS and twitch evoked by TMS during MVC were observed during the last quarter of exercise only (from 96.4 ± 1.7 to 86 ± 13%, P = 0.03 and from 0.76 ± 0.8 to 4.9 ± 4.7% MVC, P = 0.02, from baseline to task failure, respectively). The TMS-induced silent period increased linearly during both MVC (by ∼ 79 ms) and 50% MVC (by ∼ 63 ms; both P < 0.01). Motor-evoked potential amplitude did not change during the protocol at any force levels. Both silent period and VATMS recovered within 2 min postexercise, whereas MVC and twitch force evoked by PNS in relaxed muscle recovered to only 84 ± 9 and 73 ± 17% of control values 6 min after exercise, respectively. In conclusion, high-intensity single-joint quadriceps exercise induces supraspinal fatigue near task failure, with increased intracortical inhibition and, in contrast to previous upper-limb results, unchanged corticospinal excitability. These changes recover rapidly after task failure, emphasizing the need to measure corticospinal adaptations immediately at task failure to avoid underestimation of exercise-induced corticospinal changes.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Exp. Physiol.
          Experimental physiology
          Wiley-Blackwell
          1469-445X
          0958-0670
          Aug 2014
          : 99
          : 8
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Université Grenoble-Alpes, Laboratoire HP2, F-38000, Grenoble, France INSERM, U1042, F-38000, Grenoble, France Laboratoire Motricité Humaine, Education, Sport, Santé, Université de Toulon, France.
          [2 ] Université de Lyon, F-42023, Saint-Etienne, France Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
          [3 ] Université Grenoble-Alpes, Laboratoire HP2, F-38000, Grenoble, France INSERM, U1042, F-38000, Grenoble, France.
          [4 ] Université Grenoble-Alpes, Laboratoire HP2, F-38000, Grenoble, France INSERM, U1042, F-38000, Grenoble, France sverges@chu-grenoble.fr.
          [5 ] INSERM, U1042, F-38000, Grenoble, France Université de Lyon, F-42023, Saint-Etienne, France Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
          Article
          expphysiol.2014.078840
          10.1113/expphysiol.2014.078840
          24907029

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