Transcranial magnetic stimulation and epilepsy

Carlo Alberto Tassinari, Massimo Cincotta, Gaetano Zaccara, Roberto Michelucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epileptic conditions are characterized by an altered balance between excitatory and inhibitory influences at the cortical level. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides a noninvasive evaluation of separate excitatory and inhibitory functions of the cerebral cortex. In addition, repetitive TMS (rTMS) can modulate the excitability of cortical networks. We review the different ways that TMS has been used to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms and effects of antiepileptic drugs in patients with epilepsy and epileptic myoclonus. The safety of different TMS techniques is discussed too. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic prospects of rTMS in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-798
Number of pages22
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Epilepsy
  • Excitability
  • Myoclonus
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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