Direct comparison of cortical excitability to transcranial magnetic stimulation in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and restless legs syndrome

Giuseppe Lanza, Bartolo Lanuzza, Debora Aricò, Mariagiovanna Cantone, Filomena Irene Ilaria Cosentino, Manuela Pennisi, Rita Bella, Giovanni Pennisi, Raffaele Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Changes to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have been reported in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and restless legs syndrome (RLS), although no direct comparison study is available. The aim of this new investigation is to assess and compare cortical excitability of OSAS and RLS patients using the same methodology and under the same experimental conditions. Methods: Fourteen patients with OSAS and 12 with RLS were compared to 14 age-matched controls. All patients were untreated and had a severe degree of disease. Resting motor threshold (rMT), cortical silent period (CSP) and motor evoked potentials MEPs, as well as intracortical inhibition (ICI) and facilitation at interstimulus interval (ISI) of 3 and 10ms, respectively, were explored from the right first dorsal interosseous muscle, during wakefulness. Results: rMT was higher in OSAS than in RLS and controls. CSP was shorter in RLS only when compared to apneic patients, whereas it was similar between OSAS and controls. OSAS subjects exhibited slightly prolonged central motor conductivity, whereas MEP amplitude was smaller in both patient groups. The ICI ratio at ISI of 3ms was decreased in RLS patients only. Conclusions: Distinct changes of responses at TMS were found, probably connected with the different neurophysiological substrates underlying OSAS and RLS and could not be interpreted as a mere reflection of the effects of sleep architecture alteration. TMS can be considered an additional tool for the understanding of clinical and pathophysiological aspects of sleep disorders, and possibly for the evaluation of the effect of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Central motor conductivity
  • Cortical excitability
  • Disinhibition
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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