Leg Muscle Responses to Stimulation by TASER® Conducted Energy Weapons: Similarities with Voluntary Muscle Contractions during Exercise, pp. 169-179
Authors: (James R. Jauchem, Senior Research Physiologist, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, 711th Human Performance Wing, Human Effectiveness Directorate, Directed Energy Bio-Effects Division, Brooks City-Base, Texas)
Abstract: TASER conducted energy weapons (CEWs) cause incapacitation due to leg muscle contraction resulting in ―gravitational dysreflexia (i.e. fall to the ground), and loss of ability to perform coordinated action for the duration of the impulse‖ [Stratbucker et al. 2006]. Normal postural reflexes are not able to overcome the loss of muscle control. In this commentary, explanations are provided regarding differences or similarities between skeletal muscle responses to voluntary muscle contraction (or exercise) and electricallyinduced muscle contraction (such as that occurring during CEW applications). A quadruped (Sus scrofa) model is noted to be satisfactory for comparison with humans. Although muscle-contraction responses to CEW applications generally bypass volition, some aspects of CEW responses are analogous to changes during exercise. In spite of some differences in the details of recruitment patterns of muscle motor units, there are also many similarities between electrical stimulation at high levels and the voluntary muscle action occurring during exercise. These modes of muscle contraction can result in some comparable physiological changes. Because of these similarities, knowledge of previous studies of exercise/muscle contraction may be relevant to responses during CEW applications. Potential muscle injuries after CEW applications may resemble injuries after exercise, on the basis of measured increases in total plasma creatinine phosphokinase (CPK), the CPK-MM isoenzyme fraction, and myoglobin.
Open Access item.
Click below PDF icon for free download.
This is an Open Access item. Click above PDF icon for free download.