Short-interval intracortical inhibition in Parkinson's disease using anterior-posterior directed currents.

Department of Neurology, The University of Tokyo Hospital, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.
Experimental Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.17). 08/2011; 214(2):317-21. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-011-2829-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) is reported in Parkinson's disease (PD) and is considered to reflect abnormal GABAergic inhibitory system of the primary motor cortex in PD. We have recently shown, however, that SICI using anterior-posterior directed currents in the brain was normal in focal dystonia even though that using posterior-anterior currents was abnormal, indicating that the GABAergic system of the primary motor cortex is largely normal in dystonia. Here, we studied SICI in PD to clarify whether the GABAergic system is completely impaired in PD. We used paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to study SICI at interstimulus intervals of 3 and 4 ms with anterior-posterior or posterior-anterior directed currents in eight PD patients and ten healthy volunteers. The amount of SICI with posterior-anterior directed currents was reduced in PD patients compared with healthy volunteers; in contrast, SICI studied with anterior-posterior directed currents was normal in PD patients. These observations may be due to the difference in I-wave composition generated by the two directed currents and/or the difference in responsible inhibitory interneurons for the inhibition between the two current directions. We suggest that some or a part of inhibitory interneurons are not involved in PD. This discrepancy between SICI using posterior-anterior and anterior-posterior directed currents experiments may provide additional information about the circuits of the motor cortex.

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To identify the changes in motor cortical facilitatory and inhibitory circuits in Parkinson disease (PD) by detailed studies of their time courses and interactions. METHODS: Short-interval intracortical facilitation (SICF) and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) were measured with a paired-pulse paradigm using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Twelve patients with PD in both ON and OFF medication states and 12 age-matched healthy controls were tested. The first experiment tested the time course of SICF in PD and controls. The second experiment tested SICI at different times corresponding to SICF peaks and troughs to investigate whether SICI was affected by SICF. RESULTS: SICF was increased in PD OFF state and was reduced by dopaminergic medications. The reduction in SICF from the OFF to ON state correlated with the improvement in PD motor signs. SICI was reduced in PD OFF state and was only partially normalized by dopaminergic medications. At SICF peaks, improvement in SICI with medication correlated with improvement in PD motor sign. Principal component analysis showed that variations of SICF and SICI were explained by the same principal component only in the PD OFF group, suggesting that decreased SICI in the OFF state is related to increased SICF. CONCLUSIONS: Motor cortical facilitation is increased and inhibition is decreased in PD. Increased cortical facilitation partly accounts for the decreased inhibition, but there is also impairment in synaptic inhibition in PD. Increased cortical facilitation may be a compensatory mechanism in PD.
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