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Brain Stimul. 2008 Jul;1(3):151-63. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Jun 30.

State of the art: Pharmacologic effects on cortical excitability measures tested by transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Göttingen, Germany.


The combination of brain stimulation techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with CNS active drugs in humans now offers a unique opportunity to explore the physiologic effects of these substances in vivo in the human brain. Motor threshold, motor evoked potential size, motor evoked potential intensity curves, cortical silent period, short-interval intracortical inhibition, intracortical facilitation, short-interval intracortical facilitation, long-interval intracortical inhibition and short latency afferent inhibition represent the repertoire for investigating drug effects on motor cortical excitability by TMS. Here we present an updated overview on the pharmacophysiologic mechanisms with special emphasis on methodologic pitfalls and possible future developments or requirements.

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