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Type: Journal article
Title: Short-term immobilization influences use-dependent cortical plasticity and fine motor performance
Author: Opie, G.
Evans, A.
Ridding, M.
Semmler, J.
Citation: Neuroscience, 2016; 330:247-256
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0306-4522
Statement of
George M. Opie, Alexandra Evans, Michael C. Ridding and John G. Semmler
Abstract: Short-term immobilization that reduces muscle use for 8-10h is known to influence cortical excitability and motor performance. However, the mechanisms through which this is achieved, and whether these changes can be used to modify cortical plasticity and motor skill learning, are not known. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of short-term immobilization on use-dependent cortical plasticity, motor learning and retention. Twenty-one adults were divided into control and immobilized groups, both of which underwent two experimental sessions on consecutive days. Within each session, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to assess motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes, short- (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), and intracortical facilitation (ICF) before and after a grooved pegboard task. Prior to the second training session, the immobilized group underwent 8h of left hand immobilization targeting the index finger, while control subjects were allowed normal limb use. Immobilization produced a reduction in MEP amplitudes, but no change in SICI, LICI or ICF. While motor performance improved for both groups in each session, the level of performance was greater 24-h later in control, but not immobilized subjects. Furthermore, training-related MEP facilitation was greater after, compared with before, immobilization. These results indicate that immobilization can modulate use-dependent plasticity and the retention of motor skills. They also suggest that changes in intracortical excitability are unlikely to contribute to the immobilization-induced modification of cortical excitability.
Keywords: hand immobilization; intracortical excitability; metaplasticity; motor learning; neuroplasticity; transcranial magnetic stimulation
Rights: © 2016 IBRO.
RMID: 0030049444
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.06.002
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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