Intracortical and intercortical motor disinhibition to transcranial magnetic stimulation in newly diagnosed celiac disease patients

Francesco Fisicaro, Giuseppe Lanza, Carmela Cinzia D’agate, Raffaele Ferri, Mariagiovanna Cantone, Luca Falzone, Giovanni Pennisi, Rita Bella, Manuela Pennisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Celiac disease (CD) may present or be complicated by neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) probes brain excitability non-invasively, also preclinically. We previously demonstrated an intracortical motor disinhibition and hyperfacilitation in de novo CD patients, which revert back after a long-term gluten-free diet (GFD). In this cross-sectional study, we explored the interhemispheric excitability by transcallosal inhibition, which has never been investigated in CD. Methods: A total of 15 right-handed de novo, neurologically asymptomatic, CD patients and 15 age-matched healthy controls were screened for cognitive and depressive symptoms to the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), respectively. TMS consisted of resting motor threshold, amplitude, latency, and duration of the motor evoked potentials, duration and latency of the contralateral silent period (cSP). Transcallosal inhibition was evaluated as duration and latency of the ipsilateral silent period (iSP). Results: MoCA and HDRS scored significantly worse in patients. The iSP and cSP were significantly shorter in duration in patients, with a positive correlation between the MoCA and iSP. Conclusions: An intracortical and interhemispheric motor disinhibition was observed in CD, suggesting the involvement of GABA-mediated cortical and callosal circuitries. Further studies correlating clinical, TMS, and neuroimaging data are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1530
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cortical excitability
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Gamma-amino-butyric acid
  • Gluten-related pathology
  • Transcallosal inhibition
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Intracortical and intercortical motor disinhibition to transcranial magnetic stimulation in newly diagnosed celiac disease patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this