Cervical somatosensory evoked potentials, brainstem evoked potentials, visual evoked potentials, and the cerebral contingent negative variation were recorded in patients with definite multiple sclerosis before, during, and after spinal cord stimulation. Improvements were seen in the cervical somatosensory and brainstem evoked potentials but neither the visual evoked potential nor the contingent negative variation changed in association with spinal cord stimulation. The results indicate that spinal cord stimulation acts at spinal and brainstem levels and that the clinical improvements seen in patients are caused by an action at these levels rather than by any cerebral arousal or motivational effect. The evoked potentials were not useful in predicting which patients were likely to respond to stimulation.
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