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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

  • Masahito Kobayashi
  • Alvaro Pascual-Leone

Abstract

During the past two decades, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has emerged as an important modality for the exploration of cerebral function and assessing the integrity of human motor pathways. In TMS, a strong magnetic pulse activates neural elements oriented predominantly horizontally to the brain surface, and a motor evoked potential can be recorded in the activated muscles. In single-pulse TMS, stimulation can be applied to different levels of the nervous system, including the spinal cord, to assist in localizing a lesion to a specific level and helping to characterize it as demyelinating or axonal in nature. A central motor conduction time can also be calculated; this is defined as the latency difference between the motor evoked potentials induced by stimulation of the motor cortex and those evoked by spinal (motor root) stimulation. A variety of additional testing paradigms have been created over the years, including the use of paired-pulse techniques and repetitive stimulation, the latter potentially assisting in treating a variety of disorders, including depression and Parkinson disease.

Key Words

Central conduction time excitability motor evoked potential repetitive stimulation silent period transcranial magnetic stimulation 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahito Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Alvaro Pascual-Leone
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBoston

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