Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimuli (TMS) applied to the motor cortex enhances motor-evoked potential (MEP) responses at specific interpulse intervals (IPIs), probably from summation of I-waves by the secondary TMS pulse. This study investigated the properties of I-wave periodicity by comparing double-pulse with triple-pulse TMS at varying IPIs and stimulus intensities.
TMS was delivered to the optimal scalp position for the resting dominant first dorsal interosseous muscle at either active motor threshold (AMT) or AMT-5% stimulator output. In experiment 1, 4 conditions were tested, a double-pulse (D(1.5); IPI = 1.5 milliseconds), and triplets comprising D(1.5) with the addition of a third pulse at 1.5, 2.0, or 3.0 milliseconds (T(1.5)(1.5), T(1.5)(2.0), and T(1.5)(3.0), respectively). Each condition was tested at 2 stimulation intensities. In a second experiment, the same protocol was repeated with a single-pulse (giving an MEP equivalent to D(1.5)) replacing the first 2 pulses in each triplet.
At AMT, MEP responses were significantly larger for T(1.5)(1.5) and T(1.5)(3.0) compared with D(1.5). Triple-pulse stimulation at AMT-5% resulted in no additional increase in MEP amplitude, or effect of IPI. Double-pulse TMS showed similar effects to the triplets when the first pulse was delivered at an intensity equivalent to D(1.5).
The results are consistent with an intensity-dependent facilitation of MEPs produced by triple-pulse TMS, possibly through summation of cortical I-waves. Triple-pulse TMS at I-wave periodicity may have application in the investigation of the cortical circuitry involved in the generation of I-waves, or form a basis for the further development of neuromodulatory TMS interventions.
"When the TMS device produces a pulse over the motor cortex, descending fibres are activated and volleys of electrical impulses descend through connected fibres into the spinal cord and out to the peripheral nerve where it can ultimately cause a muscle to twitch. The minimum amount of energy needed to produce contraction of the thumb (abductor pollicis brevis) is called the motor threshold (MT) (Fitzgerald et al. 2006; Fox et al. 2006; Sacco et al. 2009). Because this is so easy to generate, and varies widely across individuals, the MT is used as a measure of general cortical excitability and most TMS studies (both research and clinical) report the TMS intensity as a function of individual MT (and not as an absolute physical value) (Di Lazzaro et al. 2008). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the preceding chapters discuss much of the new knowledge of neurocircuitry of neuropsychiatric diseases, and an invasive approach to treatment, this chapter describes and reviews the noninvasive methods of testing circuit-based theories and treating neuropsychiatric diseases that do not involve implanting electrodes into the brain or on its surface. These techniques are transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and transcranial direct current stimulation. Two of these approaches have FDA approval as therapies.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2009; 35(1):301-16. DOI:10.1038/npp.2009.87 · 7.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeated daily left prefrontal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was first proposed as a potential treatment for depression in 1993. Multiple studies from researchers around the world since then have repeatedly demonstrated that TMS has antidepressant effects greater than sham treatment, and that these effects are clinically meaningful. A large industry-sponsored trial, published in 2007, resulted in US FDA approval in October 2008. Most recently, a large NIH-sponsored trial, with a more rigorous sham technique, found that a course of treatment (3-5 weeks) was statistically and clinically significant in reducing depression. However, consistently showing statistically and clinically significant antidepressant effects, and gaining regulatory approval, is merely the beginning for this new treatment. As with any new treatment involving a radically different approach, there are many unanswered questions about TMS, and the field is still rapidly evolving. These unanswered questions include the appropriate scalp location, understanding the mechanisms of action, refining the 'dose' (frequency, train, number of stimuli/day and pattern of delivery), understanding whether and how TMS can be combined with medications or talking/exposure therapy, or both, and how to deliver maintenance TMS. This article summarizes the available clinical information, and discusses key areas where more research is needed. TMS reflects a paradigm shift in treating depression. It is a safe, relatively noninvasive, focal brain stimulation treatment that does not involve seizures or implanted wires, and does not have drug-drug interactions or systemic side effects.
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