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posted on 2024-02-19, 00:48 authored by Wei-Yeh LiaoWei-Yeh Liao, George OpieGeorge Opie, John SemmlerJohn Semmler, Ulf Ziemann

Modulation of dorsal premotor cortex disrupts neuroplasticity of primary motor cortex in young and older adults

Wei-Yeh Liao1, George M. Opie1, Ulf Ziemann2,3 & John G. Semmler1

1. Discipline of Physiology, School of Biomedicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

2. Department of Neurology & Stroke, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

3. Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany


Previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) research suggests that dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) influences neuroplasticity within primary motor cortex (M1) through indirect (I) wave interneuronal circuits. However, it is unclear how the influence of PMd on the plasticity of M1 I-waves changes with advancing age. This study therefore investigated the neuroplastic effects of intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) to M1 early and late I-wave circuits when preceded by iTBS (PMd iTBS-M1 iTBS) or sham stimulation (PMd sham-M1 iTBS) to PMd in 15 young and 16 older adults. M1 excitability was assessed with motor evoked potentials (MEP) recorded from right first dorsal interosseous using posterior-anterior (PA) and anterior-posterior (AP) current TMS at standard stimulation intensities (PA1mV, AP1mV) and reduced stimulation intensities (PA0.5mV, early I-waves; AP0.5mV, late I-waves). PMd iTBS-M1 iTBS disrupted the expected facilitation of PA0.5mV (to M1 iTBS) in young and older adults (P = 0.009), whereas the intervention had no effect on AP0.5mV facilitation in either group (P = 0.305). This suggests that the influence of PMd on M1 plasticity is preserved in older adults and may involve projections to early I-wave circuits within M1.


Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Grant (grant number DP200101009)

National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1139723)

Australian Research Council (DE230100022)


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