Modulation of spinal cord excitability by subthreshold repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary motor cortex in humans

A. Valero-Cabré, M. Oliveri, M. Gangitano, A. Pascual-Leone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) allows the modulation of intra-cortical excitability and may therefore affect the descending control of spinal excitability. We applied rTMS at subthreshold intensity and 1 Hz frequency for 10 min to the left primary motor cortex representation of the flexor carpi radialis muscle (FCR) in 10 subjects and assessed the H and M responses to median nerve stimulation before and after the rTMS. Following rTMS, H wave thresholds significantly reduced by ∼20%. Maximal H but not M wave amplitude significantly increased over the baseline, so that H/M amplitude ratio was increased by 41%. Sham stimulation did not induce any noticeable change in M or H waves. Slow rTMS might facilitate monosynaptic spinal cord reflexes by inhibiting the cortico-spinal projections modulating spinal excitability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3845-3848
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroReport
Volume12
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Dec 4 2001

Keywords

  • H reflex
  • Reflex modulation
  • Spinal cord
  • TMS
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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