Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technique that can activate cortical motor areas and the corticospinal tract without causing the subject discomfort. Since TMS was introduced, numerous applications of the technique have been developed for the evaluation of neurologic diseases. Standard TMS applications (central motor conduction time, threshold and amplitude of motor evoked potentials) allow the evaluation of motor conduction in the CNS. Conduction studies provide specific information in neurologic conditions characterized by clinical and subclinical upper motor neuron involvement. In addition, they have proved useful in monitoring motor abnormalities and the recovery of motor function. TMS also gives information on the pathophysiology of the processes underlying the various clinical conditions. More complex TMS applications (paired-pulse stimulation, silent period, ipsilateral silent period, input-output curve, and evaluation of central fatigue) allow investigation into the mechanisms of diseases causing changes in the excitability of cortical motor areas. These techniques are also useful in monitoring the effects of neurotrophic drugs on cortical activity. TMS applications have an important place among the investigative tools to study patients with motor disorders.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 24 2002|
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