• Kaegi S, Schwab ME, Dietz V and Fouad K (2002). Eur J Neurosci. 16 (2): 249-58. Summary: This investigation was designed to study the spontaneous functional recovery of adult rats with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) at thoracic level during a time course of 2 weeks. Daily testing sessions included open field locomotor examination and electromyographic (EMG) recordings from a knee extensor (vastus lateralis, VL) and an ankle flexor muscle (tibialis anterior, TA) in the hindlimbs of treadmill walking rats. The BBB score (a locomotor score named after Basso et al., 1995, J. Neurotrauma, 12, 1-21) and various measures from EMG recordings were analysed (i.e. step cycle duration, rhythmicity of limb movements, flexor and extensor burst duration, EMG amplitude, root-mean-square, activity overlap between flexor and extensor muscles and hindlimb coupling). Directly after SCI, a marked drop in locomotor ability occurred in all rats with subsequent partial recovery over 14 days. The recovery was most pronounced during the first week. Significant changes were noted in the recovery of almost all analysed EMG measures. Within the 14 days of recovery, many of these measures approached control levels. Persistent abnormalities included a prolonged flexor burst and increased activity overlap between flexor and extensor muscles. Activity overlap between flexor and extensor muscles might be directly caused by altered descending input or by maladaptation of central pattern generating networks and/or sensory feedback. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&li st_uids=12169107> Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich and Department of Biology ETH Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland ParaCare, University Hospital Balgrist, University of Zurich, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland.