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Type: Journal article
Title: TMS coil orientation and muscle activation influence lower limb intracortical excitability
Author: Hand, B.J.
Opie, G.M.
Sidhu, S.K.
Semmler, J.G.
Citation: Brain Research, 2020; 1746:147027-1-147027-9
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0006-8993
Statement of
Brodie J. Hand, George M. Opie, Simranjit K. Sidhu, John G. Semmler
Abstract: Introduction: Previous research with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) indicates that coil orientation (TMS current direction) and muscle activation state (rest or active) modify corticospinal and intracortical excitability of upper limb muscles. However, the extent to which these factors influence corticospinal and intracortical excitability of lower limb muscles is unknown. This study aimed to examine how variations in coil orientation and muscle activation affect corticospinal and intracortical excitability of tibialis anterior (TA), a lower leg muscle. Methods: In 21 young (21.6 ± 3.3 years, 11 female) adults, TMS was administered to the motor cortical representation of TA in posterior-anterior (PA) and mediolateral (ML) orientations at rest and during muscle activation. Single-pulse TMS measures of motor evoked potential amplitude, in addition to resting and active motor thresholds, were used to index corticospinal excitability, whereas paired-pulse TMS measures of short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and facilitation (SICF), and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), were used to assess excitability of intracortical circuits. Results: For single-pulse TMS, motor thresholds and test TMS intensity were lower for ML stimulation (all P < 0.05). In a resting muscle, ML TMS produced greater SICI (P < 0.001) and less SICF (both P < 0.05) when compared with PA TMS. In contrast, ML TMS in an active muscle resulted in reduced SICI but increased SICF (both P ≤ 0.001) when compared with PA TMS. CONCLUSION: TMS coil orientation and muscle activation influence measurements of intracortical excitability recorded in the tibialis anterior, and are therefore important considerations in TMS studies of lower limb muscles.
Keywords: Transcranial magnetic stimulation; motor cortex; lower limb; muscle activation; current direction; intracortical excitability
Rights: © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2020.147027
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