ABSTRACT: In this study, we aimed to evaluate motor cortical excitability changes in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) and their asymptomatic siblings (AS) using single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS). 21 patients with JME and their 21 AS were compared to 20 healthy controls. All of JME patients were receiving antiepileptic therapy and their seizures were well controlled. Firstly, standard EEG examinations and then TMS studies were performed. Resting motor threshold (RMT), motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes, the durations of central motor conduction time (CMCT) and cortical silent period (CSP) were measured. After TMS studies, EEG recordings were repeated in an hour to evaluate any effect of TMS study on EEG. There were no significant differences between the first and second EEG recordings. No seizures were recorded during and after the TMS study. RMT was found higher in JME patients than AS and normal controls. There were no significant differences between cortical MEP amplitudes and MEP amplitude/CMAP (compound muscle action potential) amplitude ratio in all three groups. CMCT duration was shorter in JME patients than AS. CSP durations of JME patients were found to be longer than controls. In AS, CSP durations were also found to be longer than controls but this difference was not found statistically significant. Our results suggested that although high MT may be related to antiepileptic therapy, the prolongation of CSP duration may reflect impairment of supraspinal and/or intracortical inhibitory mechanism in JME. To eliminate the drug effect, further studies are needed in newly diagnosed JME patients without medication and large series of their asymptomatic siblings.
Seizure 04/2009; 18(6):387-91. · 1.80 Impact Factor