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Type: Journal article
Title: Age-related changes in late I-waves influence motor cortex plasticity induction in older adults
Author: Opie, G.
Cirillo, J.
Semmler, J.
Citation: The Journal of physiology, 2018; 13(13):2597-2609
Publisher: Physiological Society
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0022-3751
Statement of
George M. Opie, John Cirillo and John G. Semmler
Abstract: The response to neuroplasticity interventions using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is reduced in older adults, which may be due, in part, to age-related alterations in interneuronal (I-wave) circuitry. The current study investigated age-related changes in interneuronal characteristics and whether they influence motor cortical plasticity in older adults. While I-wave recruitment was unaffected by age, there was a shift in the temporal characteristics of the late, but not early I-waves. Using I-wave periodicity repetitive TMS (iTMS), we showed that these differences in I-wave characteristics influence the induction of cortical plasticity in older adults.Previous research shows that neuroplasticity assessed using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is reduced in older adults. While this deficit is often assumed to represent altered synaptic modification processes, age-related changes in the interneuronal circuits activated by TMS may also contribute. Here we assessed age-related differences in the characteristics of the corticospinal indirect (I) waves and how they influence plasticity induction in primary motor cortex. Twenty young (23.7 ± 3.4 years) and 19 older adults (70.6 ± 6.0 years) participated in these studies. I-wave recruitment was assessed by changing the direction of the current used to activate the motor cortex, whereas short-interval intracortical facilitation (SICF) was recorded to assess facilitatory I-wave interactions. In a separate study, I-wave periodicity TMS (iTMS) was used to examine the effect of I-wave latency on motor cortex plasticity. Data from the motor evoked potential (MEP) onset latency produced using different coil orientations suggested that there were no age-related differences in preferential I-wave recruitment (P = 0.6). However, older adults demonstrated significant reductions in MEP facilitation at all 3 SICF peaks (all P-values < 0.05) and a delayed latency of the second and third SICF peaks (all P-values < 0.05). Using I-wave intervals that were optimal for young and older adults, these changes in the late I-waves were shown to influence the plasticity response in older adults after iTMS. These findings suggest that temporal characteristics are delayed for the late I-waves in older adults, and that optimising TMS interventions based on I-wave characteristics may improve the plasticity response in older adults. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Keywords: ageing; corticospinal descending volley; transcranial magnetic stimulation
Rights: © 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2018 The Physiological Society
RMID: 0030085941
DOI: 10.1113/jp274641
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Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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