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Evidence for a subcortical contribution to intracortical facilitation

Wiegel, P; Niemann, N; Rothwell, JC; Leukel, C; (2018) Evidence for a subcortical contribution to intracortical facilitation. European Journal of Neuroscience , 47 (11) pp. 1311-1319. 10.1111/ejn.13934. Green open access

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Abstract

Intracortical facilitation (ICF) describes the facilitation of an EMG response (motor evoked potential) to a suprathreshold pulse (S2) of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) by a preceding subthreshold pulse (S1) given 10–15 ms earlier. ICF is widely assumed to originate from intracortical mechanisms. In this study, we used spinal H‐reflexes to test whether subcortical mechanisms can also contribute to the facilitation. Measurements were performed in the upper limb muscle flexor carpi radialis in 17 healthy volunteers, and in the lower limb muscle soleus in 16 healthy volunteers. S2 given alone facilitated the H‐reflex. When S1 preceded S2 by 10 ms, the amount of facilitation increased, compatible with ICF. However, S1 given alone also facilitated the H‐reflex, suggesting that it had evoked descending activity even though its intensity was well below resting motor threshold. Across participants, the amount of H‐reflex facilitation from S1 alone was proportional to the degree of H‐reflex facilitation with combined S1–S2. These results indicate that subcortical mechanisms can contribute to ICF and potentially add to the variability of the ICF measure reported in previous studies.

Type: Article
Title: Evidence for a subcortical contribution to intracortical facilitation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ejn.13934
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13934
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: corticospinal, H‐reflex, motor cortex, paired‐pulse, transcranial magnetic stimulation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056015
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