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The joke of electrotherapy

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    Lindox, the next, and I think one of the two most important additions to the site, will be coming up very shortyly, if I can keep the fire to the feet of the man I hired to do the work. The text is ready, captions, that is, for a series of images and eventually short flicks that will help to explain the two ways energy is captured by cells from the stream. Called photo-trophism and chemo-trophism, the tutorial will explain how digestion is the latter, and the targeted delivery of this energy by the nervous system to the cells of the body is then called nervous system trophism. To simulate nervous system trophism we have a cathode that corrodes or is 'digested,' in a manner of speaking, and with the anode we introduce a pulsed electrical field to the nerve endings transcutaneously, mimicking the way the nervous system delivers energy in waves of polarization and de-polarization. This analogy of direct current stimulation as a sort of pseudo-stomach, I hope, will justify for you the undertaking of learning where the nerve endings lie, as shown in the anatomy pictures already on the page. I will not put up instructions on the use of the machines until the machines themelves are available, and at that time too I will provide links for a bulletin board such as this one. Communication has always been very important for science, and I am just dying to know if galvanic revivification will do all the things the theory predicts besides restore muscle. Visits to the hospital and dentist for checkups reveals that my blood pressure is very low, all systems are working well after 31 years in a wheelchair, that I have the jawbone and the teeth of someone healthy less than half my age. My vision is the best it has ever been, and I don't need glasses to read. What I would like to investigate next is galvanic baths, and I understand they were done in England and Germany at the end of the 19th century, though, at that time, they had little in the way of diagnostic and laboratory tests. The Bakken Museum outside of Minneapolis is devoted to the history of the study of the role of electricity and electromagnetism in life. There are books there that have key information, I'm sure, about this 19th century work, even if it was done in relative ignorance. I think galvanic baths should be investigated for their affect on the skin, viruses, and retroviruses, and blood pressure relief. I'd much rather do this than get caught up in a pissing contest with people who want only to defend the beiefs, people, and methods that might be keeping them in wheelchairs.


      Don, your machine sounds interesting. I only hope that it is truly safe and that those using it will indeed benefit. Presenting it as an alternative to FES rather than attempting to promote its use by attacking the entire field of neuroscience may have circumvented some of the doubt and suspicion you've encountered. Can you tell us more about yourself, is your injury complete, how long did you use the machine before you started experiencing return?

      ...first of all, that the muscle's condition must be the result of disuse atrophy, and not denervation. Denervation would result from peripheral nerve damage like the severing of a nerve to a muscle, leaving the muscle without any nerve supply at all, whereas with atrophy the nerve fibers are there but just aren't firing. The time from injury is very important.
      Are you saying that the best candidates are those with some remaining white matter, i.e., those who have spasms or experience spasticity? Could those who are unresponsive to traditional FES benefit from using your machine?



        Seneca, Dr. Young's colleague, Dr. Kern, who is said to have had, in the summary of the conversation between the two you sent to me, incredible visions of the effects of electrical stimulation on the recovery of muscle long paralyzed, works with direct current. In one of the research references that Dr. Young posted, one with Dr. Kern has team leader, it is reported that the current strength used was 250 milliamperes. Dr. Kern and Dr. Young both expressed concern about the destruction to muscle tissue at these tremendous current strengths. In the research report of Dr. Kern's the claim is made that a bi-symmetric or biphasic pulse was used. This is an attempt to limit the harsh effects of the direct current on tissue. What is involved here is a switching of polarity back and forth with each pulse. This effectively limits tissue damage, and removes electrochemistry as a consideration for the restoration of muscle through the triggering of protein synthesis, thereby rendering direct current stimulation as useless as FES or any electrotherapy that employs faradic current or AC, no matter how powerful muscle contractions are or how long they go on. It is extremely important, if one wants to restore a muscle, to use the same sort of electrical impulse that the body uses, applied at the same point, the neuromuscular junction. What the body uses is electrochemistry. It is a requirement of the FDA that all approved, powered, muscle stimulators pass no more than half a milliampere. This is to avoid excessive, or any, charge transmission, once again ruling out electrochemistry. The PEMS of Reeve and Young is said to achieve 'charge neutrality', and this renders their machine useless, for it too rules out electrochemistry. Simply put, FES, despite the anecdotal claims of those who use it, has no effect whatsoever in stopping deterioration from disuse, or in restoring muscle mass and strength, for it has no way of acting upon the type II muscle fiber. It is the type II fiber which makes up what we see grossly as muscle mass, and which is the structure behind strength of voluntary muscle use. It is the very thing, tissue damage, that makes direct current objectionable that also makes it effective. What is important then in using it is how it is used. Damage can easily be avoided if one is trained. The machine I propose, and use on myself, and which Clayton Dixon and others use, can still cause some damage if used without good technique. But the machine is so mild that the damage will be to skin only and the skin will recover just as it does from sunburn or chapping from exposure to the cold. As for telling you about myself, enough is said in the essay on the website dealing with the origins if the theory of galvanic revivification.

        "Are you saying that the best candidates are those with some remaining white matter, i.e., those who have spasms or experience spasticity? Could those who are unresponsive to traditional FES benefit from using your machine?"

        Please pay attention here. I have already said that spasticity is not the result of nervous activity. Instead it is the result of smooth muscle being acted upon by blood chemistry and local conditions. An example of the latter would be hot water on Andy's toe causing the leg to jump. There is no arcing in the spinal cord or reflex arc here. The striated, voluntary muscle is too far gone for nerve to make it contract. What is contracting is smooth muscle, the same sort of muscle that contracts when you shiver, or have cramps, or are tickled mercilessly. Both smooth and striated muscle are present on every muscle. The smooth muscle is associated mostly with blood and blood chemistry, and acts to constrict vessels, arteries and capillaries when it is cold out. All smooth muscle has electrical synapses, that is, fibers which grow from cells that are immediately post-synaptic, i.e., immediately downstream from the nerve ending. These fibers grow out to the smooth muscle cells. These fibers are protein wrapped up in a membrane that is the same or similar to myelin. But from the same cluster of synapses that can be found in the neuromuscular junction or ganglion, grows another set of electrical synapses, only this structure of synapses innervates the muscle cells of striated muscle, the muscle used in voluntary contraction. These fibers too are proteins wrapped in a myelin-like fiber. I think here we might see what muscle physiologists call fast and slow twitch fibers, but I'm not sure about this. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. The fast twitch fibers go to the striated muscle, the slow twitch to the smooth muscle.
        Now we are presented with a spinal cord injured person. His muscles at first grow bigger and less dense with time, and then start to appear to wither and sag. If the nerve supply to the muscle is severed, both fast and slow twitch fibers are lost, and the muscle is flaccid. But if the nerve supply remains, with just the firing of the neurons that activate the fast twitch fibers being interrupted, then the fast twitch fibers lose cross-sectional area and the possibility of voluntary muscle contraction is soon lost as this atrophy advances. About the time that this happens spasticity appears. It is the reaction of the smooth muscle, not the striated muscle. What the spasticity announces is: the striated muscle type II fiber has lost its protein interior, but the blood supply is still there. Even spastic muscle will become flaccid over the years as the smooth muscle type II fiber slowly withers, but the neurons which activate cannot be traced to the spinal cord. They are in the brain and send axons down along the spine, traveling directly from the brain down the sympathetic chain on either side of the spine. As they travel down the spine they are joined at the dorsal ganglion by fibers coming from the cord to form the spinal nerve. These two types of nerve fibers form the clusters of synapses found in each neuromuscular junction and ganglion.
        To answer your question then, if a person has spasticity, it is a good sign, for it means that the autonomic [not spinal] nerve supply and blood supply to the muscle is still intact. It tells us nothing about striated muscle condition except that it is too withered to use. What my machine does is trigger the growth not just of the striated muscle type II fiber proteins back through its empty sheath, but also triggers the growth of the smooth muscle type II fiber, and all things which grow from the synapse, whether muscle fibers or what becomes the contents of organs like the liver, the kidney, the lungs, the heart, the eye, the tongue, the genito-urinary organs, the stomach, the intestines, all arteries and capillaries, and the list goes on. A person who once had spasticity but lost it over the years, will see it return as he/she is restored, but this return will come long before the muscle becomes again usable.



          If you go over to the Project Walk website, they have video clips which show what they do and the results of their P.T.methods. Project Walk was also interviewed by a news team from New Zealand and I find this type of media helpful. I am not endorsing Project Walk but I would like to see pictures along with some video clips (AVI,MPEG, etc) of your technology.

          The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
          --General George Patton

          Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
          ––Paul Nussbaum


            Paul, as far as video clips are concerned, I am working on that for the website now. But they are instructional videos aimed not at explaining what this all about, but how to do it. As for what this is all about, that comes in a more textual form in discussions of the history of science and evolution of thought regarding electricity and the nervous system. This is really boring material for the most part. I'm sure that people want to see things put in terms they are familiar with. In this regard the next thing to be hoisted to the web page will be the electrochemical tutorial. It will provide full justification for the use of direct current stimulation, and will eventually include MPEGs and video clips to replace the pictures. MPEGs will be used extensively in the explanation of the equipment, how to set it up and use it, and how to exercise each of the 1,152 motor endplate regions and ganglia in the body. From earlier postings you know that direct current can damage tissue if not used judiciously and with training. The page will provide the training and links to get the machines. I really don't care for media attention yet, and if it comes I have nothing to show except a small group of people who are dedicated to this and can show how it has helped them. I am not interested in amassing anecdotal evidence so that I can garner some sort of media attention and, with it, the attention of officialdom like that behind the Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience. I am interested instead in disseminating this information in such a way that it is taken up by both the handicapped and those just interested in fitness and health, and it is spread that way. You must understand that the equipment is not even approvable by the FDA, so I can get in trouble for making it available even at cost. Nevertheless, I will take that chance since I am driven by a deep-seated desire to topple the house of neuroscience rather than be assimilated by it, after what it has done for me and the harm it continues to inflict upon stroke victims and nervous system injured in its backwardness and insularity.


              Hi Don,

              As embarrassing as this is to admit, I get a bit lost in the technical terminology of your posts and I have long since forgotten my highschool physics and chemistry classes.

              Basically, I would like to know if the galvanic reverification is aimed purely at restoring atrophied muscle or as I think you have suggested, it might actually help with voluntary muscle control?

              Also, you mentioned a 3:1 year ratio of galvanic therapy to time paralysed. Did I understand that correctly?

              ps I am not judging, just genuinely interested in your idea and wanting to know more.
              Phil C6
              "If you can't explain it to me in less than 10 seconds, it's probably not worth knowing anyway..." - Calvin


                AO, galvanic revivification has a restorative affect on a lot of things in the body, or at least this is what is suggested by considerations of bioenergetcs and the role of electrochemistry in the process of metabolism. But what we are concerned with here is the reversal of atrophy, the loss of cross sectional area of the type II muscle fiber. That fiber makes up what we see grossly as muscle bulk; yet that fiber is the key to functional, voluntary, muscle strength. What muscles you can already use will be made stronger since galvanic revivification is merely a more efficient way of overloading the muscle the way a weight lifter would. Only you don't have to lift weights or even use the muscle. What the galvanic revivification provides is a simulation of the nerve impulse, a pulsed electrical field from the anode of the direct current, only far stronger than what your nervous system can put out. This makes overloading of the muscle really easy. But the electrical field must be delivered to the neuromuscular junction, just like the body does it. This means that you don't strap on or attach electrodes and leave them there but, instead, you move from one junction or motor endplate region to the next [there are 1,152 of them on the body], spending one or two seconds on each. The device will make the muscle twitch from 800 to 1000 times per second depending upon the frequency you chose. Because of the affects of direct current on the skin you never spend more than a few seconds on each point. The cathode, on the other hand, you move every couple of minutes. The anode will feel hot and cause a stronger contraction than the cathode which triggers weak contraction on smooth muscle and feels very cold and numbing.
                You understand the time ratio of exercise to prolonged bed rest well. This figure comes from the Veterans Administration and is, I think, a standard estimate gained by experimentation by muscle physiologists on those who have to submit to enforced and prolonged bed rest.
                When a muscle that is severely atrophic is made to contract using galvanic revivification, the contraction triggered is very weak. Over time that contraction grows stronger at the same current strength, its strength of contraction being an indication of the restoration of the type II fiber. The time it takes for the muscle to be restored can be quite long, depending upon, once again, how long it has been paralyzed. This can take decades in fact if you are doing leg muscles on a quad who has been paralyzed over ten years, for example. Since the body evolved to function as a unit, it would be better to treat all the muscles of the body rather than just a few. By restoring the muscles and organs of the pelvis, for example, you will increase the rate at which muscles of the lower leg recover.
                What is being recovered, the cross sectional area of the type II fiber, will allow for muscle use if the neuronal inputs from the cord and the brain are still able to reach the now healthier muscle. If they cannot, for example if a bullet has passed through the spinal cord or vertebral slippage indicated on an x-ray indicate the cord could not have survived intact, then the muscle can still be made healthy even if it is not usable. But a large fraction of the paralysis from spinal injury, especially at the cevical level, and almost if not all paralysis from stroke, is the result of severe atrophy that prevents the muscle from being used even by a healthy nervous system. The suggestion is then that the return of controlled motor functioning merely awaits restoration of the muscle in many cases of enduring paralysis following non-destructive spinal cord trauma. In other words the fact that one is paralyzed cannot be taken as evidence that damage to the cord is complete. This information must come from other diagnostic methods, like x-rays or surgical examination. In those cases where the muscle is the problem, return of voluntary muscle control is achieved with the restoration of the muscle. Nothing has to be done to the cord or the brain. It is important to remember that contraction alone will not restore a muscle; the contraction must be triggered in a true simulation of how the nervous system does it. That means electrochemistry. When the muscle is weak, the contraction triggered by electrochemistry will be weak, but grow strongeer over time. Beware of any type of electrotherapy that does not use direct current, that might use direct current but switches the polarity back and forth with each pulse, that does not have a corroding cathode, that causes strong contractions on weak muscle. The corroding, oxidizing cathode is one way the damage to the body is limited. Otherwise the corrosion takes place in the body itself. At the anode what is triggered is reduction, that is, the creation of chemical bonds between carbon and hydrogen needed for the building of biological molecules.


                  Thank you for your explanation Don.

                  I understand now what you are trying to get accross. Very interesting to me as I spent 6 months in ICU not being able to move at all. I was/am diagnosed complete ... but then again it took a few months for me to regain enough strength in my arms to use them, after all that time of being immobile.

                  I'll keep a watch on the galvanism site and here for further news.
                  Phil C6
                  "If you can't explain it to me in less than 10 seconds, it's probably not worth knowing anyway..." - Calvin


                    I'm no scientist...but about the type II muscle fibers...I don't believe they are the only ones that respond to exercise, or the only ones that matter. My husband has gone from 0 resistance to .1 and is able to do a session on the bike for 1 1/2 hours now. His endurance,strength and cardio vascular ability have all increased. His leg muscles are stronger, though he doesn't have "voluntary control". The bike's stim percentage doesn't go above 40, and the bike won't quit until it reachs 99 percent as I understand. He began using the FES bike in December.


                      I agree with hope2findacure that more than the type II fiber respons to exercise. I disagree that FES is exercise or anything more than passive movement triggered by an external power source that causes the muscle to contract in a way not at all similar to how the body does it, relying upon voltage transmission rather than a simulation of the nerve impulse. Larwatson, on another thread, suggest that this is a matter to be settled by lawyers and insurance companies, that the research of the Brazilian scientists is phony. He is a lawyer, and he concludes that scientific evidence is not a rational basis to make a claim that FES doesn't work, and shifts requirement of proof from the people who make money from these devices to those who claim they don't work. In the court of science the burden of proof is on those who make the claims. Those who claim FES works have never proven their case, and the scientific evidence so far is that it has no effect on type II muscle fiber. Period.


                        Good news, I just off the phone with Electrologic and FES bikes are now being covered by the VA for Disabled Vets who qualify. The VA is also Covering the cost of the Neuropulse units for Disabled Vets who qualify.

                        If FES is such an unproven technology, I most certainly dont think the US goverment would be covering the cost of such technology for disabled vets.
                        "Life is about how you
                        respond to not only the
                        challenges you're dealt but
                        the challenges you seek...If
                        you have no goals, no
                        mountains to climb, your
                        soul dies".~Liz Fordred


                          Well Curt,

                          It appears that DonQ has explained that FES does not truely increase the muscle mass that matters, (type II, I believe). I never did believe the assertions made on the Electrologic site. Why, because they don't have the proper studies to back it up. You once told me "All you are doing with your passive bike is heating the motor up and jacking up your electric bill".
                          Looks like thats all your doing also. Why doesn't Electologic sue DonQ, he can't be that hard to find. I guess truth is a complete defense.


                            Well, Curt, Chasb smelled a rat on the electrologic site in that there was no supporting evidence, just claims made. The FDA, in its approval process for powered muscle stimulators, admits it has no expertise in the area and is not equipped to judge on the effectiveness of any product approved, merely to certify it as safe. Petrofsky, an engineer, did not have to come up with any biopsies to show that FES affected the cross-sectional area of the type II fiber even though it had been known since at least 1976 with the transmission electron microscopic work of Dr. Sudhansu Chokroverty, who published his findings in the Archives of Neurology that year. Petrosfsky found a safe way to make the muscle contract in response to the computer-controlled voltage transmission to certain muscle groups on the legs. He got the machine approved because he did not have to show results in restoration of muscle, merely that his novel combination of engineering and archaic neurological doctrine about the thermodynamic nature of the nerve impulse was safe to be used by the credulous. The contraction triggered was nothing like how the body does it. That is why the type II fiber is unaffected, and why FES has no affect on muscle atrophy. The idea that the approval and widespread use of FES, even its being paid for by the VA, has no bearing on its undemonstrated effectiveness. The question to ask is how can we tell if FES works without doing the biopsies? Well, the biopsies have been done. How then can we tell if FES doesn't work without doing the biopsies? If FES didn't work, what would we look for? And herein is the problem. There is no test for the success or failure of FES to reverse atrophy, no test even proposed by its author, Petrofsky. It is always assumed that it is working because it is making weak muscles contract strongly, which is rather un-natural. And this doesn't cut it in the world of science, only in the world of commerce where the electrologic FES seems to be making inroads to the VA. Being a disabled veteran myself for almost 32 years I can say this is almost for sure an indication that it doesn't work.


                              Originally posted by Don Quixote:

                              I agree with hope2findacure that more than the type II fiber respons to exercise. I disagree that FES is exercise or anything more than passive movement triggered by an external power source that causes the muscle to contract in a way not at all similar to how the body does it, relying upon voltage transmission rather than a simulation of the nerve impulse. Larwatson, on another thread, suggest that this is a matter to be settled by lawyers and insurance companies, that the research of the Brazilian scientists is phony. He is a lawyer, and he concludes that scientific evidence is not a rational basis to make a claim that FES doesn't work, and shifts requirement of proof from the people who make money from these devices to those who claim they don't work. In the court of science the burden of proof is on those who make the claims. Those who claim FES works have never proven their case, and the scientific evidence so far is that it has no effect on type II muscle fiber. Period.
                              See, now all you've done is gone and irritated me. Either you are mis-stating my assertion or you just don't get it. So let me lead you through this once again.

                              There are volumes of research that have shown the benefits of FES for folks with SCI. This research has been performed by various independent resources and is now an accepted therapy for a vast number of rehabilitative uses well beyond SCI. Petrofsky and others have proven their point in the "court of science."

                              The science is available to any that want to look at it with an objective and discerning eye. Insurance companies, Medicare and now the veterans administration have each reviewed the science, and have been convinced that FES is an effective therapy for SCI. These are folks who have every incentive to disprove the science so that they don't have to pay for the equipment. They would fire their review boards if they had cleared therapies that don't pass stringent scientific review.

                              So here I sit with the FDA, the Veterans Administration, Medicare, and numerous insurance companies (including Blue Cross Blue Shield) who all have nothing to gain, but a great deal to lose . . . acknowleging the scientific support. And then of course there is Dr. Young who once again has no financial interest to support FES, and considered one of the leading neuro scientists in the area of SCI also acknowledging the value of FES.

                              The scientific evidence is beyond substantial . . . and conspiracy theories including stakeholders with contrary interests just don't fly here.

                              But no . . . I'm supposed to throw all of the scientific evidence out out and look at one study performed by a group out of Brazil, and proffered by someone who admits to be conflicted.

                              And mind you proffered by someone who doesn't have enough nad to identify him/herself.

                              This isn't a legal issue . . . this is a commonsense issue. And no reasonable person looking at the totality of the scientific evidence, and additional facts proffered above regarding the FDA, Veterans Administration, Medicare, and insurance industry . . . would ever come to the conclusion that the Donster has a legitimate basis for his assertions.

                              Finally . . .

                              Chasb . . . if Don is so certain of his legal basis for not having commited slander/professional libel . . . than he should have enough intestinal fortitude to identify himself. What does he hve to be afraid of?

                              Petrofsky couldn't sue even if he wanted to because this coward won't show his face.

                              As I said on the other thread. Don stop talking. Go prove your therapy works. And then put Petrofsky out of business.

                              Until that time comes . . . goodbye.

                              What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator
                              What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator


                                Larwatson,until you can cite a study which finds by biopsy of type II muscle fiber that FES affects atrophy, until you can come up one of the multitude of researches you say are out there, one, just one, only one that uses biopsies and electron transmission microscopy to verify the fantasies of Petrofsky, please stop crowing about how FES has survived scrutiny in the court of science. Not even Wise Young could do this. You say the scientific evidence is 'beyond substantial'. You know so much, okay, where is it?
                                With regard to providing evidence that electrochemistry has the affects it does on the triggering of protein synthesis such that the type II fiber's cross sectional area increases, I am in the process of disseminating the equipment and information so that individuals can check it out themselves. I cannot afford the electron microscopic biopsies that Petrofsky should have done, but didn't since he is an engineer and knew nothing about muscle structure, only how to make a muscle contract using voltage transmission.