Send to

Choose Destination

The effect of current direction induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation on the corticospinal excitability in human brain.

Author information

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Yamaguchi, School of Medicine, Japan.


Evoked spinal cord potentials (ESCPs) from the cervical epidural space and motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from the hand muscles were recorded simultaneously in 6 subjects following transcranial magnetic stimulation in two different coil orientations on motor cortex. The onset latency of the MEPs was approximately 1 ms shorter when the induced current flowed in a latero-medial direction (L-M stimulation) on the motor cortex as compared to a postero-anterior direction (P-A stimulation). Hence, L-M stimulation elicited an earlier component of the ESCPs than that induced by P-A stimulation. During general anesthesia with Sevoflurane, only the first component of the ESCPs could be elicited routinely following L-M stimulation. In contrast, all components of the ESCPs were dramatically attenuated following P-A stimulation. Moreover, first component latency of the ESCPs induced by L-M stimulation was almost the same as that induced by transcranial anodal electrical stimulation. These results suggest that if the induced current following transcranial magnetic stimulation flows in a latero-medial direction on motor cortex, it preferentially stimulates the corticospinal tract non-synaptically (producing a D-wave). However, if the induced current flows in a postero-anterior direction, it preferentially stimulates the corticospinal tract trans-synaptically (producing I-waves). Therefore, the direction of magnetically induced current is crucial in determining corticospinal excitability in the human brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center