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J Physiol. 1998 Aug 15;511 ( Pt 1):181-90.

Demonstration of facilitatory I wave interaction in the human motor cortex by paired transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Gottingen, Human Motor Control Section, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. ziemann@codon.nih.gov

Abstract

1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the human motor cortex results in multiple discharges (D and I waves) in the corticospinal tract. We tested whether these volleys can be explored non-invasively with paired TMS. The intensity of the first stimulus (S1) was set to produce a motor-evoked potential (MEP) of 1 mV in the resting contralateral abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscle; the second stimulus (S2) was set to 90 % of the resting motor threshold. At interstimulus intervals of 1.1-1.5, 2.3-2.9 and 4.1-4.4 ms the MEP elicited by S1 plus S2 was larger than that produced by S1 alone. 2. Varying the S1 intensity between 70 and 130 % resting motor threshold with S2 held constant at 90 % resting motor threshold showed that the threshold for the first MEP peak was <= 70 % resting motor threshold. The second and third MEP peaks appeared only at higher S1 intensities. The latency of all peaks decreased with increasing S1 intensity. 3. Varying the S2 intensity with S1 held constant to produce a MEP of 1 mV on its own showed that the amplitude of all MEP peaks increased with S2 intensity, but that their timing remained unchanged. 4. Paired TMS in the active ADM (S1 clearly suprathreshold, S2 just above threshold; interstimulus interval, 1 ms) produced strong MEP facilitation. The onset of this facilitation occurred later by about 1.5 ms than the onset of the MEP evoked by S2 alone. No MEP facilitation was seen if the magnetic S2 was replaced by anodal or cathodal transcranial electrical stimulation. 5. It is concluded that the MEP facilitation after paired TMS, at least for the first MEP peak, is due to facilitatory interaction between I waves, and takes place in the motor cortex at or upstream from the corticospinal neurone.

PMID:
9679173
PMCID:
PMC2231091
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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