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Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Aug;177:169-73.

Interhemispheric asymmetry of motor cortical excitability in major depression as measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Neuroimaging studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) indicate interhemispheric differences in prefrontal cortical activity (right greater than left).

AIMS:

To investigate whether there are any interhemispheric differences of motor cortical excitability in MDD.

METHOD:

Eight patients with treatment-refractory MDD off medication were assessed for the severity of their depression, and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies (bilateral motor threshold and paired-pulse studies) were conducted. Eight normal controls were also studied.

RESULTS:

MDD patients showed significant interhemispheric differences in motor threshold and paired-pulse curves, both of which showed lower excitability on the left hemisphere. Such differences were absent in controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings may aid the further understanding of the neurophysiology underlying MDD.

Comment in

PMID:
11026958
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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