Motor cortex hyperexcitability in subcortical ischemic vascular dementia

Giovanni Pennisi, Raffaele Ferri, Giovanna Alagona, Manuela Pennisi, Giulia Malaguarnera, Massimo Motta, Rita Bella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To study whether in subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (SIVD) the changes of motor cortex excitability are due to the dementing process or to the cerebrovascular lesions, we examined 20 SIVD patients, 20 patients with subcortical ischemic disease without dementia (SIDWD) and 20 control subjects who underwent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Motor threshold (MT), amplitudes of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and silent period (SP) were considered. MT in SIVD patients (32.7 ± 2.6%) was significantly lower (p<0.001) than in SIDWD patients (47.9 ± 3.4%) and in controls (49.1 ± 4.2%). MEP amplitude was larger in SIVD patients (6.8 ± 1.7. mV) than in the other groups (5.7 ± 1.9. mV and 5.2 ± 1.8. mV, p<0.02). Motor cortex excitability is enhanced in SIVD. Our data, taken together with previous results in Alzheimer disease (AD), indicate that motor cortex hyperexcitability is a common finding in different dementing illnesses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Motor cortex excitability
  • Subcortical cerebrovascular disease
  • Subcortical ischemic vascular dementia
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology

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