Recent data suggest that epidural chronic motor cortical stimulation could improve movement disorders. Because the procedure is safe, it might be a valuable therapeutic option. Although the therapeutic effects of cortical stimulation still need to be assessed in controlled studies, we discuss its rationale and the possible physiological mechanisms involved. There are several factors that support the use of chronic cortical stimulation in patients with movement disorders, including the strategic position of the motor cortex, the improvement induced in some motor disorders by cortical lesions, the functional imaging findings documenting widespread cortical dysfunction in movement disorders, and the improvement induced in patients with Parkinson's disease and dystonia by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Among the possible mechanisms of action of chronic motor cortex stimulation, besides modifications in the motor cortex itself, the most probable is that of eliciting distant bilateral changes through efferents and afferents that bilaterally connect the motor cortex with other cortical and subcortical structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology