Amputation of a limb is known to cause cortical reorganisation in sensorimotor regions. A novel approach in neuroprosthetics named "Targeted muscle and sensory reinnervation (TMSR)" consists of rerouting motor and sensory nerves from the residual limb towards intact muscles and skin regions. Movement of a myoelectric prosthesis is enabled via decoded electromyography activity from reinnervated muscles and touch sensation on the missing limb is enabled by stimulation of the reinnervated skin areas. In this paper, (published in Brain ), we investigated using ultra high-field (7 T) fmri how motor control using TMSR affected the maps of the upper limb in primary motor (M1) and primary somatosensory (S1) cortex,and their functional connections. We found that M1 maps in TMSR patients were similar to healthy controls and different from non-TMSR amputees. These results show how that TMSR may counteract maladaptive cortical plasticity typically found after limb loss in M1.
Serino, A., Akselrod, M., Salomon, R., Martuzzi, R., Blefari, M. L., Canzoneri, E., ... & Amoresano, A. (2017). Upper limb cortical maps in amputees with targeted muscle and sensory reinnervation. Brain, 140(11), 2993-3011.