Body Sway Increases After Functional Inactivation of the Cerebellar Vermis by cTBS

Silvia Colnaghi, Jean Louis Honeine, Stefania Sozzi, Marco Schieppati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Balance stability correlates with cerebellar vermis volume. Furthermore, the cerebellum is involved in precise timing of motor processes by fine-tuning the sensorimotor integration. We tested the hypothesis that any cerebellar action in stance control and in timing of visuomotor integration for balance is impaired by continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) of the vermis. Ten subjects stood quietly and underwent six sequences of 10-min acquisition of center of foot pressure (CoP) data after cTBS, sham stimulation, and no stimulation. Visual shifts from eyes closed (EC) to eyes open (EO) and vice versa were presented via electronic goggles. Mean anteroposterior and mediolateral CoP position and oscillation, and the time delay at which body sway changed after visual shift were calculated. CoP position under both EC and EO condition was not modified after cTBS. Sway path length was greater with EC than EO and increased in both visual conditions after cTBS. CoP oscillation was also larger with EC and increased under both visual conditions after cTBS. The delay at which body oscillation changed after visual shift was longer after EC to EO than EO to EC, but unaffected by cTBS. The time constant of decrease or increase of oscillation was longer in EC to EO shifts, but unaffected by cTBS. Functional inactivation of the cerebellar vermis is associated with increased sway. Despite this, cTBS does not detectably modify onset and time course of the sensorimotor integration process of adaptation to visual shifts. Cerebellar vermis normally controls oscillation, but not timing of adaptation to abrupt changes in stabilizing information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Cerebellum
  • Magnetic stimulation
  • Sensorimotor integration
  • Stance
  • Sway
  • Visual shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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