A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of abnormal cortical inhibition in schizophrenia

Paul B. Fitzgerald, Timothy L. Brown, Natasha A.U. Marston, Tom J. Oxley, Anthony De Castella, Zafiris Jeff Daskalakis, Jayashri Kulkarni

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44 Scopus citations


Previous research suggests that patients with schizophrenia demonstrate deficits in a range of parameters of motor cortical and cognitive inhibition. I-wave facilitation and long-interval cortical inhibition (LICI) are two paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigms that appear to assess aspects of cortical inhibitory function that have not previously been assessed in this patient group. Eighteen patients with schizophrenia (nine medication-free) were compared with eight control subjects. We assessed resting motor threshold (RMT) levels, LICI and I-wave facilitation. RMT levels did not differ between the three groups. There was a significant overall difference in I-wave facilitation levels. Both patient groups as compared with the control group showed increased facilitation. There were no differences between the groups in the measure of LICI. Patients with schizophrenia appear to have increased I-wave facilitation. Increased I-wave facilitation suggests deficient function of cortical inhibitory GABAergic activity. This is consistent with previous research that has found deficient cortical inhibition in patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • I-waves
  • Inhibition
  • Motor cortex
  • Schizophrenia


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