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Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 May;115(5):1044-51.

Induction of long-term plasticity in human swallowing motor cortex following repetitive cortical stimulation.

Author information

  • 1GI Science Group, University of Manchester, Clinical Sciences Building, Hope Hospital, Eccles Old Road, Salford M6 8HD, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The excitability of corticobulbar projections to swallowing musculature undergoes remarkable long-term increases after short periods of pharyngeal stimulation. The aim of this study was to investigate the excitability of swallowing motor cortex following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

METHODS:

Twelve healthy subjects were given 100 rTMS pulses over motor cortex at frequencies of 1, 5 and 10 Hz at an intensity of 80% threshold for corticobulbar activation. The excitability of the corticobulbar projection was assessed before and after rTMS and compared both to sham stimulation and to the corticospinal projection.

RESULTS:

Stimulation at 5 Hz, but not 1 Hz, 10 Hz or sham stimulation increased the excitability of the corticobulbar projection to the pharynx, reaching a peak 60 min after rTMS (Delta increase: 65%, P=0.016). Excitability in the projection from the opposite hemisphere also increased, suggesting the presence of inter-hemispheric interactions, whereas excitability in the projection to thenar muscles was unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS:

Corticobulbar and corticospinal projections may differ in response to rTMS, implying differences in relative thresholds of inhibitory and excitatory elements in hand versus swallowing cortex.

SIGNIFICANCE:

This might be a useful approach in the motor rehabilitation of dysphagic stroke patients who have damage to sensory projections to the swallowing cortex.

PMID:
15066528
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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