Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals abnormal plastic response to premotor cortex stimulation in schizophrenia

Tom Oxley, Paul B. Fitzgerald, Timothy L. Brown, Anthony De Castella, Z. Jeff Daskalakis, J. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Schizophrenia may be characterized by abnormal plastic modulation in cortical neuronal circuits. Activation of premotor cortex using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) produces suppression of cortical excitability in primary motor cortex. We hypothesized that premotor rTMS would cause less suppression of motor cortical excitability in patients with schizophrenia than in control subjects. Twelve patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and twelve healthy control subjects underwent subthreshold rTMS to the premotor area in a 15-min conditioning train. Measurements of primary motor cortical excitability (motor evoked potential; MEP), the resting motor threshold (RMT), and cortical inhibition (CI) were taken before and after the rTMS. There was no difference in RMT between groups at baseline, although the patient group had less CI than the control group at baseline. Following rTMS, the change in both MEP size and RMT between groups was significant. After rTMS, MEP size was suppressed in the control group and increased in the patient group, whereas RMT increased in the normal control group and decreased in the patient group. Patients with schizophrenia demonstrate abnormal brain responses to rTMS applied to the premotor cortex that appear to relate to reduced motor cortical inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-633
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume56
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Excitability
  • GABA
  • plasticity
  • premotor
  • rTMS
  • schizophrenia

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