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Brain Stimul. 2014 Mar-Apr;7(2):158-69. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2013.08.009. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

Motor cortical excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation in psychiatric disorders: a systematic review.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Nussbaumstr. 7, D-80336 Munich, Germany.
2
Centre of Mental Health, County Hospital Darmstadt-Dieburg, Groß-Umstadt, Germany; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Nussbaumstr. 7, D-80336 Munich, Germany. Electronic address: Alkomiet.Hasan@med.uni-muenchen.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a popular neurostimulation technique suitable for the investigation of inhibitory and facilitatory networks in the human motor system. In the last 20 years, several studies have used TMS to investigate cortical excitability in various psychiatric disorders, leading to a consequent improvement in pathophysiological understanding. However, little is known about the overlap and specificity of these findings across these conditions.

OBJECTIVE:

To provide a systematic review of TMS studies (1985-2013) focusing on motor cortical excitability in dementia, schizophrenia, affective disorders (major depression and bipolar), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette Syndrome (TS), substance abuse (alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, nicotine) and other disorders (borderline personality disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)).

METHODS:

Systematic literature-based review.

RESULTS:

Across disorders, patients displayed a general pattern of cortical disinhibition, while the most consistent results of reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition could be found in schizophrenia, OCD and Tourette Syndrome. In dementia, the most frequently reported finding was reduced short-latency afferent inhibition as a marker of cholinergic dysfunction.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this systematic review indicate a general alteration in motor cortical inhibition in mental illness, rather than disease-specific changes. Changes in motor cortical excitability provide insight that can advance understanding of the pathophysiology underlying various psychiatric disorders. Further investigations are needed to improve the diagnostic application of these parameters.

KEYWORDS:

Cortical excitability; Cortical inhibition; Psychiatric disorder; Systematic review; Transcranial magnetic stimulation

PMID:
24472621
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2013.08.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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