Effect of multiple subpial transection on motor cortical excitability in cortical dysgenesis

Toshio Shimizu, Taketoshi Maehara, Taro Hino, Tetsuo Komori, Hiroyuki Shimizu, Akira Yagishita, Takanori Yokota, Shunsaku Hirai, Paolo M. Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report here a 12-year-old patient with unilateral cortical dysgenesis and intractable simple partial seizure in his left arm, who underwent multiple subpial transection (MST) in the right cerebral cortex including the primary motor cortex. We investigated motor cortical excitability using multimodal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) before and 1 month after MST, in which surgical cortical incisions were made with strokes 5 mm apart and 4 mm deep. Preoperative TMS studies showed hyperexcitability in the affected motor cortex as abnormally prolonged muscle responses to TMS with a wide cortical motor map, which were markedly reduced following the operation. The preoperative motor evoked potentials were large and polyphasic, and consisted of early and late components. The late component was completely abolished after MST, suggesting that this component might be due to activation of the corticospinal tract neurones by long recurrent axon branches of dysplastic excitatory pyramidal neurones, which were cut by MST, or by delayed, polysynaptic intracortical conduction with marked temporal dispersion. Intracortical inhibition in the affected motor cortex was also disrupted preoperatively and improved after MST. Postoperative recruitment order of muscle responses to t: o TMS was bilaterally symmetrical, indicating that MST did not interfere with the function of the corticospinal tract neurones. The patient showed fair motor recovery and good seizure control after the operation. These results of TMS studies demonstrated the remarkable effectiveness of MST not only on intractable seizure but also on abnormal motor cortical organization and hyperexcitability in cortical dysgenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1336-1349
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cortical dysgenesis
  • Motor cortical excitability
  • Multiple subpial transection
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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