Changes in intracortical circuits of the human motor cortex following theta burst stimulation of the lateral cerebellum.
ABSTRACT The cerebellum takes part in several motor functions through its influence on the motor cortex (M1). Here, we applied the theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocol, a novel form of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) over the lateral cerebellum. The aim of this study was to test whether TBS of the lateral cerebellum could be able to modulate the excitability of the contralateral M1 in healthy subjects.
Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) amplitude, short intracortical inhibition (SICI), long intracortical inhibition (LICI) and short intracortical facilitation (SICF) were tested in the M1 before and after cerebellar continuous TBS (cTBS) or intermittent TBS (iTBS).
We found that cTBS induced a reduction of SICI and an increase of LICI. On the other hand, cerebellar iTBS reduced LICI. MEPs amplitude also differently vary following cerebellar stimulation with cTBS or iTBS, resulting in a decrease by the former and an increase by the latter.
Although the interpretation of these data remains highly speculative, these findings reveal that the cerebellar cortex undergoes bidirectional plastic changes that modulate different intracortical circuits within the contralateral primary motor cortex.
Long-lasting modifications of these pathways could be useful to treat various pathological conditions characterized by an altered cortical excitability.
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ABSTRACT: Clinical and functional imaging studies suggest that the cerebellar vermis is involved in the regulation of a range of nonsomatic functions including cardiovascular control, thirst, feeding behavior, and primal emotions. Cerebello-hypothalamic circuits have been postulated to be a potential neuroanatomical substrate underlying this modulation. We tested this putative relationship between the cerebellar vermis and nonsomatic functions by stimulating the cerebellum noninvasively via neuronavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation. In this randomized, counter-balanced, within-subject study, intermittent theta burst stimulation (TBS) was applied on three different days to the vermis and the right and left cerebellar hemispheres of 12 right-handed normal subjects with the aim of modulating activity in the targeted cerebellar structure. TBS-associated changes were investigated via cardiovascular monitoring, a series of emotionally arousing picture stimuli, subjective analog scales for primal emotions, and the Profile of Mood States test. All 36 sessions of cerebellar stimulation were tolerated well without serious adverse events. Cardiovascular monitoring pointed to a mild but significant decrease in heart rate subsequent to vermal stimulation; no changes were detected in systolic or diastolic blood pressure measurements. Subjective ratings detected a significant increase in Thirst and a trend toward increased Appetite following vermal stimulation. These observations are consistent with existing neurophysiological and neuroimaging data indicating a role for the cerebellum in the regulation of visceral responses. In conjunction with the modulatory function of the cerebellum, our results suggest a role for the vermis in somatovisceral integration likely through cerebello-hypothalamic pathways. Further research is warranted to elucidate the potential mechanisms underlying the cerebellar modulation of nonsomatic functions.The Cerebellum 12/2010; 10(3):495-503. · 3.21 Impact Factor
Article: Cerebellar rTMS stimulation may induce prolonged clinical benefits in essential tremor, and subjacent changes in functional connectivity: An open label trial.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cerebello-thalamo-cortical (CTC) pathways dysfunction is involved in pathological oscillations causing tremor in essential tremor (ET). Low-frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the cerebellum can effectively modulate the cerebellar output. OBJECTIVE: As one session of rTMS can induce a brief improvement, we hypothesized that repeated sessions might have a cumulative and potentially long-term therapeutic effect on ET. We assessed, in an open label trial, the efficacy of one-week rTMS treatment on tremor and on the motor-CTC dysfunction in ET patients. METHODS: Resting-state fMRI functional connectivity was used as an indicator of CTC network integrity in 11 ET patients and 11 healthy subjects. Resting-state fMRI connectivity was quantified at baseline in patients and control subjects between the cerebellum and the motor network, and between the cerebellum and the default brain network (DBN) taken as control. The fMRI study was repeated in patients after 5 days of bilateral 1 Hz rTMS applied to the posterior cerebellar cortex. Tremor was assessed clinically (Fahn-Tolosa-Marin scale) and quantified using electromyographic and accelerometric recordings at baseline (day 1, before the cerebellar stimulation) and after the end of the cerebellar stimulation period at day 5, day 12 and day 29. RESULTS: Repeated rTMS over the cerebellum significantly improved total and specific (tremor, drawing, functional disability) scores, and reduced tremor amplitude (P < 0.006). It also re-established the defective information processing in the CTC network (P(Δ|y) > 0.909), but not in the DBN. The effects persisted for 3 weeks after the last session. CONCLUSION: Cerebellar stimulation could be an effective treatment option for patients with severe essential tremor.Brain Stimulation 05/2012; · 3.76 Impact Factor