Advances in the Study of Cortical Excitability, Connectivity and Plasticity by Using TMS-EEG and Other Neurophysiological Techniques

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 September 2023) | Viewed by 27845

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Neuroscience, University of Padua, 35122 Padua, Italy
2. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
Interests: neurology; neurophysiology; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); electroencephalography (EEG); TMS–EEG co-registration; physiological and pathological ageing; epilepsy

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Co-Guest Editor
Department of Human Neurosciences, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: non-invasive brain stimulation; neurophysiology; movement disorders; dementia; transcranial magnetic stimulation; transcranial electrical stimulation; electroencephalography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Co-Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
Interests: brain stimulation; clinical neurophysiology; developmental neurophysiology; ageing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Co-Guest Editor
Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: neurology; neurophysiology; transcranial magnetic stimulation; evoked potentials; electroencephalography; motor control; movement disorders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the most important abilities of the human brain is to change its structural and functional organization in response to a variety of events, such as exposure to sensory inputs, learning of motor skills, aging, and disease processes. This ability, summarized under the general term of neural plasticity, refers to a range of diverse biological phenomena, from changes in intrinsic neuronal excitability to variations in the strength of synaptic connections across large-scale brain networks. In the last two decades, a great effort has been devoted to clarifying how these processes interact to shape electrophysiological properties of the brain, including spontaneous oscillatory activity and responses to external perturbations. The combination of techniques designed to provide readouts of the electrical activity of the brain (electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography) or to transiently interact with cortical circuitry (transcranial magnetic or electrical stimulation) provides powerful methods to assess local cortical responses and characterize causal interactions between distant brain areas. While some working principles of these techniques have been elucidated, much work is still needed to frame them in a broad physiological context and in the investigation of brain diseases. In this view, the aim of this Special Issue is to explore advancements in the study of cortical physiology and pathophysiology by using TMS-EEG and other cutting-edge neurophysiological techniques. We invite methodologically rigorous contributions in the form of original research articles, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and case reports investigating normal physiology, as well as central nervous system disorders.

Dr. Florinda Ferreri
Guest Editor

Dr. Andrea Guerra
Dr. Sara Määttä
Dr. Lorenzo Rocchi
Co-Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Cortical excitability
  • Cortical connectivity
  • Cortical plasticity
  • TMS
  • HdEEG
  • TMS-EEG
  • tACS
  • tDCS
  • MEG
  • Neurophysiological techniques

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 8110 KiB  
Article
Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation at the Cerebellum on Working Memory
by Jiangnan Yao, Bo Song, Jingping Shi, Kuiying Yin and Wentao Du
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(8), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13081158 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1238
Abstract
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a widely used brain intervention technique in clinical settings. In recent years, the role of the cerebellum in learning and memory has become one of the hotspots in the field of cognitive neuroscience. In this study, we recruited 36 [...] Read more.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a widely used brain intervention technique in clinical settings. In recent years, the role of the cerebellum in learning and memory has become one of the hotspots in the field of cognitive neuroscience. In this study, we recruited 36 healthy college or graduate students as subjects and divided them into groups, with 10 to 14 subjects in each group. We performed 5 Hz and 20 Hz repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation and sham stimulation on the Crus II subregion of the cerebellum in different groups, then let them complete the 2-back working memory task before and after the stimulation. We simultaneously recorded the electroencephalogram in the experiment and analyzed the data. We found that after repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation of the cerebellum at 5 Hz and 20 Hz, the N170 and P300 event-related potential components in the prefrontal cortex showed significant differences compared to those in the sham stimulation group. Using phase-locked values to construct brain networks and conduct further analysis, we discovered that stimulation frequencies of 5 Hz and 20 Hz had significant effects on the local and global efficiency of brain networks in comparison to the sham stimulation group. The results showed that repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation on cerebellar targets can effectively affect the subjects’ working memory tasks. Repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation at 5 Hz and 20 Hz could enhance the excitatory responses of the frontal lobes. After stimulation at 5 Hz and 20 Hz, the efficiency of the brain network significantly improved. Full article
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20 pages, 3946 KiB  
Article
Task Cortical Connectivity Reveals Different Network Reorganizations between Mild Stroke Patients with Cortical and Subcortical Lesions
by Jiaye Cai, Mengru Xu, Huaying Cai, Yun Jiang, Xu Zheng, Hongru Sun, Yu Sun and Yi Sun
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(8), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13081143 - 29 Jul 2023
Viewed by 951
Abstract
Accumulating efforts have been made to investigate cognitive impairment in stroke patients, but little has been focused on mild stroke. Research on the impact of mild stroke and different lesion locations on cognitive impairment is still limited. To investigate the underlying mechanisms of [...] Read more.
Accumulating efforts have been made to investigate cognitive impairment in stroke patients, but little has been focused on mild stroke. Research on the impact of mild stroke and different lesion locations on cognitive impairment is still limited. To investigate the underlying mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in mild stroke at different lesion locations, electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded in three groups (40 patients with cortical stroke (CS), 40 patients with subcortical stroke (SS), and 40 healthy controls (HC)) during a visual oddball task. Power envelope connectivity (PEC) was constructed based on EEG source signals, followed by graph theory analysis to quantitatively assess functional brain network properties. A classification framework was further applied to explore the feasibility of PEC in the identification of mild stroke. The results showed worse behavioral performance in the patient groups, and PECs with significant differences among three groups showed complex distribution patterns in frequency bands and the cortex. In the delta band, the global efficiency was significantly higher in HC than in CS (p = 0.011), while local efficiency was significantly increased in SS than in CS (p = 0.038). In the beta band, the small-worldness was significantly increased in HC compared to CS (p = 0.004). Moreover, the satisfactory classification results (76.25% in HC vs. CS, and 80.00% in HC vs. SS) validate the potential of PECs as a biomarker in the detection of mild stroke. Our findings offer some new quantitative insights into the complex mechanisms of cognitive impairment in mild stroke at different lesion locations, which may facilitate post-stroke cognitive rehabilitation. Full article
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11 pages, 1173 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Effects of a Focal Muscle Vibration Protocol on Sensorimotor Integration in Healthy Subjects
by Nicoletta Manzo, Francesca Ginatempo, Daniele Belvisi, Giorgio Arcara, Ilaria Parrotta, Giorgio Leodori, Franca Deriu, Claudia Celletti, Filippo Camerota and Antonella Conte
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040664 - 15 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Background: The ability to perceive two tactile stimuli as asynchronous can be measured using the somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT). In healthy humans, the execution of a voluntary movement determines an increase in STDT values, while the integration of STDT and movement [...] Read more.
Background: The ability to perceive two tactile stimuli as asynchronous can be measured using the somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT). In healthy humans, the execution of a voluntary movement determines an increase in STDT values, while the integration of STDT and movement execution is abnormal in patients with basal ganglia disorders. Sensorimotor integration can be modulated using focal muscle vibration (fMV), a neurophysiological approach that selectively activates proprioceptive afferents from the vibrated muscle. Method: In this study, we investigated whether fMV was able to modulate STDT or STDT–movement integration in healthy subjects by measuring them before, during and after fMV applied over the first dorsalis interosseous, abductor pollicis brevis and flexor radialis carpi muscles. Results: The results showed that fMV modulated STDT–movement integration only when applied over the first dorsalis interosseous, namely, the muscle performing the motor task involved in STDT–movement integration. These changes occurred during and up to 10 min after fMV. Differently, fMV did not influence STDT at rest. We suggest that that fMV interferes with the STDT–movement task processing, possibly disrupting the physiological processing of sensory information. Conclusions: This study showed that FMV is able to modulate STDT–movement integration when applied over the muscle involved in the motor task. This result provides further information on the mechanisms underlying fMV, and has potential future implications in basal ganglia disorders characterized by altered sensorimotor integration. Full article
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14 pages, 1915 KiB  
Article
Effects on Corticospinal Tract Homology of Faremus Personalized Neuromodulation Relieving Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: A Proof-of-Concept Study
by Massimo Bertoli, Angela Tataranni, Susanna Porziani, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Eugenia Gianni, Joy Grifoni, Teresa L’Abbate, Karolina Armonaite, Livio Conti, Andrea Cancelli, Carlo Cottone, Franco Marinozzi, Fabiano Bini, Federico Cecconi and Franca Tecchio
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040574 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Objectives: Fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a frequent and invalidating symptom, which can be relieved by non-invasive neuromodulation, which presents only negligible side effects. A 5-day transcranial direct-current stimulation, 15 min per day, anodically targeting the somatosensory representation of the whole body [...] Read more.
Objectives: Fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a frequent and invalidating symptom, which can be relieved by non-invasive neuromodulation, which presents only negligible side effects. A 5-day transcranial direct-current stimulation, 15 min per day, anodically targeting the somatosensory representation of the whole body against a larger occipital cathode was efficacious against MS fatigue (fatigue relief in multiple sclerosis, Faremus treatment). The present proof-of-concept study tested the working hypothesis that Faremus S1 neuromodulation modifies the homology of the dominant and non-dominant corticospinal (CST) circuit recruitment. Methods: CST homology was assessed via the Fréchet distance between the morphologies of motor potentials (MEPs) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the homologous left- and right-hand muscles of 10 fatigued MS patients before and after Faremus. Results: In the absence of any change in MEP features either as differences between the two body sides or as an effect of the treatment, Faremus changed in physiological direction the CST’s homology. Faremus effects on homology were more evident than recruitment changes within the dominant and non-dominant sides. Conclusions: The Faremus-related CST changes extend the relevance of the balance between hemispheric homologs to the homology between body sides. With this work, we contribute to the development of new network-sensitive measures that can provide new insights into the mechanisms of neuronal functional patterning underlying relevant symptoms. Full article
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12 pages, 954 KiB  
Article
Natural Oscillatory Frequency Slowing in the Premotor Cortex of Early-Course Schizophrenia Patients: A TMS-EEG Study
by Francesco L. Donati, Ahmad Mayeli, Kamakashi Sharma, Sabine A. Janssen, Alice D. Lagoy, Adenauer G. Casali and Fabio Ferrarelli
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040534 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
Despite the heavy burden of schizophrenia, research on biomarkers associated with its early course is still ongoing. Single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation coupled with electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) has revealed that the main oscillatory frequency (or “natural frequency”) is reduced in several frontal brain areas, including [...] Read more.
Despite the heavy burden of schizophrenia, research on biomarkers associated with its early course is still ongoing. Single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation coupled with electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) has revealed that the main oscillatory frequency (or “natural frequency”) is reduced in several frontal brain areas, including the premotor cortex, of chronic patients with schizophrenia. However, no study has explored the natural frequency at the beginning of illness. Here, we used TMS-EEG to probe the intrinsic oscillatory properties of the left premotor cortex in early-course schizophrenia patients (<2 years from onset) and age/gender-matched healthy comparison subjects (HCs). State-of-the-art real-time monitoring of EEG responses to TMS and noise-masking procedures were employed to ensure data quality. We found that the natural frequency of the premotor cortex was significantly reduced in early-course schizophrenia compared to HCs. No correlation was found between the natural frequency and age, clinical symptom severity, or dose of antipsychotic medications at the time of TMS-EEG. This finding extends to early-course schizophrenia previous evidence in chronic patients and supports the hypothesis of a deficit in frontal cortical synchronization as a core mechanism underlying this disorder. Future work should further explore the putative role of frontal natural frequencies as early pathophysiological biomarkers for schizophrenia. Full article
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11 pages, 1871 KiB  
Article
TMS-Induced Modulation of EEG Functional Connectivity Is Affected by the E-Field Orientation
by Giulia Pieramico, Roberto Guidotti, Aino E. Nieminen, Antea D’Andrea, Alessio Basti, Victor H. Souza, Jaakko O. Nieminen, Pantelis Lioumis, Risto J. Ilmoniemi, Gian Luca Romani, Vittorio Pizzella and Laura Marzetti
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030418 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2677
Abstract
Coregistration of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) allows non-invasive probing of brain circuits: TMS induces brain activation due to the generation of a properly oriented focused electric field (E-field) using a coil placed on a selected position over the scalp, while [...] Read more.
Coregistration of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) allows non-invasive probing of brain circuits: TMS induces brain activation due to the generation of a properly oriented focused electric field (E-field) using a coil placed on a selected position over the scalp, while EEG captures the effects of the stimulation on brain electrical activity. Moreover, the combination of these techniques allows the investigation of several brain properties, including brain functional connectivity. The choice of E-field parameters, such as intensity, orientation, and position, is crucial for eliciting cortex-specific effects. Here, we evaluated whether and how the spatial pattern, i.e., topography and strength of functional connectivity, is modulated by the stimulus orientation. We systematically altered the E-field orientation when stimulating the left pre-supplementary motor area and showed an increase of functional connectivity in areas associated with the primary motor cortex and an E-field orientation-specific modulation of functional connectivity intensity. Full article
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17 pages, 1485 KiB  
Article
Selective Stimulus Intensity during Hotspot Search Ensures Faster and More Accurate Preoperative Motor Mapping with nTMS
by Luca Sartori, Samuel Luciano Caliri, Valentina Baro, Roberto Colasanti, Giulia Melinda Furlanis, Alberto D’Amico, Gianluigi De Nardi, Florinda Ferreri, Maurizio Corbetta, Domenico d’Avella, Luca Denaro and Andrea Landi
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020285 - 08 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Introduction: Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has emerged as one of the most innovative techniques in neurosurgical practice. However, nTMS motor mapping involves rigorous steps, and the importance of an accurate execution method has not been emphasized enough. In particular, despite strict adherence [...] Read more.
Introduction: Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has emerged as one of the most innovative techniques in neurosurgical practice. However, nTMS motor mapping involves rigorous steps, and the importance of an accurate execution method has not been emphasized enough. In particular, despite strict adherence to procedural protocols, we have observed high variability in map activation according to the choice of stimulation intensity (SI) right from the early stage of hotspot localization. We present a retrospective analysis of motor mappings performed between March 2020 and July 2022, where the SI was only chosen with rigorous care in the most recent ones, under the guide of an expert neurophysiologist. Materials and methods: In order to test the ability to reduce inaccurate responses and time expenditure using selective SI, data were collected from 16 patients who underwent mapping with the random method (group A) and 15 patients who underwent mapping with the proposed method (group B). The parameters considered were resting motor threshold (%), number of stimuli, number of valid motor evoked potentials (MEPs), number of valid MEPs considered true positives (TPs), number of valid MEPs considered false positives (FPs), ratio of true-positive MEPs to total stimuli, ratio of true-positive MEPs to valid MEPs, minimum amplitude, maximum amplitude and mapping time for each patient. Results: The analysis showed statistically significant reductions in total stimulus demand, procedural time and number of false-positive MEPs. Significant increases were observed in the number of true-positive MEPs, the ratio of true-positive MEPs to total stimuli and the ratio of true-positive MEPs to valid MEPs. In the subgroups analyzed, there were similar trends, in particular, an increase in true positives and a decrease in false-positive responses. Conclusions: The precise selection of SI during hotspot search in nTMS motor mapping could provide reliable cortical maps in short time and with low employment of resources. This method seems to ensure that a MEP really represents a functionally eloquent cortical point, making mapping more intuitive even in less experienced centers. Full article
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11 pages, 2372 KiB  
Article
On the Homology of the Dominant and Non-Dominant Corticospinal Tracts: A Novel Neurophysiological Assessment
by Maria Rita Pagliara, Federico Cecconi, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Massimo Bertoli, Karolina Armonaite, Eugenia Gianni, Joy Grifoni, Teresa L’Abbate, Franco Marinozzi, Livio Conti, Luca Paulon, Antonino Uncini, Filippo Zappasodi and Franca Tecchio
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020278 - 07 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1601
Abstract
Objectives: The homology of hemispheric cortical areas plays a crucial role in brain functionality. Here, we extend this concept to the homology of the dominant and non-dominant hemi-bodies, investigating the relationship of the two corticospinal tracts (CSTs). The evoked responses provide an estimate [...] Read more.
Objectives: The homology of hemispheric cortical areas plays a crucial role in brain functionality. Here, we extend this concept to the homology of the dominant and non-dominant hemi-bodies, investigating the relationship of the two corticospinal tracts (CSTs). The evoked responses provide an estimate of the number of in-phase recruitments via their amplitude as a suitable indicator of the neuronal projections’ integrity. An innovative concept derived from experience in the somatosensory system is that their morphology reflects the recruitment pattern of the whole circuit. Methods: CST homology was assessed via the Fréchet distance between the morphologies of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) using a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the homologous left- and right-hand first dorsal interosseous muscles of 40 healthy volunteers (HVs). We tested the working hypothesis that the inter-side Fréchet distance was higher than the two intra-side distances. Results: In addition to a clear confirmation of the working hypothesis (p < 0.0001 for both hemi-bodies) verified in all single subjects, we observed that the intra-side Fréchet distance was higher for the dominant than the non-dominant one. Interhemispheric morphology similarity increased with right-handedness prevalence (p = 0.004). Conclusions: The newly introduced measure of circuit recruitment patterning represents a potential benchmark for the evaluation of inter-lateral mechanisms expressing the relationship between homologous hemilateral structures subtending learning and suggests that variability in recruitment patterning physiologically increases in circuits expressing greater functionality. Full article
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13 pages, 2360 KiB  
Article
Effective Intracerebral Connectivity in Acute Stroke: A TMS–EEG Study
by Franca Tecchio, Federica Giambattistelli, Camillo Porcaro, Carlo Cottone, Tuomas P. Mutanen, Vittorio Pizzella, Laura Marzetti, Risto J. Ilmoniemi, Fabrizio Vernieri and Paolo Maria Rossini
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020233 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
Stroke is a major cause of disability because of its motor and cognitive sequelae even when the acute phase of stabilization of vital parameters is overcome. The most important improvements occur in the first 8–12 weeks after stroke, indicating that it is crucial [...] Read more.
Stroke is a major cause of disability because of its motor and cognitive sequelae even when the acute phase of stabilization of vital parameters is overcome. The most important improvements occur in the first 8–12 weeks after stroke, indicating that it is crucial to improve our understanding of the dynamics of phenomena occurring in this time window to prospectively target rehabilitation procedures from the earliest stages after the event. Here, we studied the intracortical excitability properties of delivering transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the primary motor cortex (M1) of left and right hemispheres in 17 stroke patients who suffered a mono-lateral left hemispheric stroke, excluding pure cortical damage. All patients were studied within 10 days of symptom onset. TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) were collected via a TMS-compatible electroencephalogram system (TMS–EEG) concurrently with motor-evoked responses (MEPs) induced in the contralateral first dorsal interosseous muscle. Comparison with age-matched healthy volunteers was made by collecting the same bilateral-stimulation data in nine healthy volunteers as controls. Excitability in the acute phase revealed relevant changes in the relationship between left lesioned and contralesionally right hemispheric homologous areas both for TEPs and MEPs. While the paretic hand displayed reduced MEPs compared to the non-paretic hand and to healthy volunteers, TEPs revealed an overexcitable lesioned hemisphere with respect to both healthy volunteers and the contra-lesion side. Our quantitative results advance the understanding of the impairment of intracortical inhibitory networks. The neuronal dysfunction most probably changes the excitatory/inhibitory on-center off-surround organization that supports already acquired learning and reorganization phenomena that support recovery from stroke sequelae. Full article
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16 pages, 2030 KiB  
Article
EPIAMNE: A New Scoring System for Differentiating Transient EPIleptic AMNEsia from Transient Global Amnesia
by Biagio Maria Sancetta, Lorenzo Ricci, Giovanni Assenza, Marilisa Boscarino, Flavia Narducci, Carlo Vico, Vincenzo Di Lazzaro and Mario Tombini
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(12), 1632; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12121632 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Transient epileptic amnesia (TEA) is a rare cause of acute amnestic syndromes (AAS), often misdiagnosed as transient global amnesia (TGA). We proposed a scoring system—the EPIlepsy AMNEsia (EPIAMNE) score—using quantitative EEG (qEEG) analysis to obtain a tool for differentiating TEA from TGA. We [...] Read more.
Transient epileptic amnesia (TEA) is a rare cause of acute amnestic syndromes (AAS), often misdiagnosed as transient global amnesia (TGA). We proposed a scoring system—the EPIlepsy AMNEsia (EPIAMNE) score—using quantitative EEG (qEEG) analysis to obtain a tool for differentiating TEA from TGA. We retrospectively reviewed clinical information and standard EEGs (stEEG) of 19 patients with TEA and 21 with TGA. We computed and compared Power Spectral Density, demonstrating an increased relative theta power in TGA. We subsequently incorporated qEEG features in EPIAMNE score, together with clinical and stEEG features. ROC curve models and pairwise ROC curve comparison were used to evaluate and compare the diagnostic accuracy for TEA detection of EPIAMNE score, presence of symptoms atypical for TGA (pSymAT) and identification of anomalies (interictal epileptiform or temporal focal spiky transients) at stEEG (PosEEG). Area Under the Curve (AUC) of EPIAMNE score revealed to be higher than PosEEG and pSymAT (AUCEPIAMNE = 0.95, AUCpSymAT = 0.85, AUCPosEEG = 0.67) and this superiority proved to be statistically significant (p-valueEPIAMNE-PosEEG and p-valueEPIAMNE-pSymAT < 0.05). In conclusion, EPIAMNE score classified TEA with higher accuracy than PosEEG and pSymAT. This approach could become a promising tool for the differential diagnosis of AAS, especially for early TEA detection. Full article
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13 pages, 3806 KiB  
Article
Recognition and Processing of Visual Information after Neuronavigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Session
by Wiktoria Kasprzycka, Magdalena Ligia Naurecka, Bartosz Michał Sierakowski, Paulina Putko, Zygmunt Mierczyk, Grzegorz Chabik, Stanisław Dec, Stefan Gaździński and Rafał Rola
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(9), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12091241 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a method of noninvasive and painless stimulation of the nervous system, which is based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. Over the past twenty years, the TMS technique has been deployed as a tool for the diagnosis [...] Read more.
Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a method of noninvasive and painless stimulation of the nervous system, which is based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. Over the past twenty years, the TMS technique has been deployed as a tool for the diagnosis and therapy of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in the treatment of mental disorders (e.g., depression). Methods: We tested the inhibitory effects of repetitive TMS (rTMS) on reaction times to militarily relevant visual stimuli amidst distractors and on accompanying blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 20 healthy people. rTMS was applied over the visual cortices, V1, on both hemispheres with the inhibitory theta burst paradigm with the intensity of 70% of the active motor threshold fMRI in 20 healthy people. Results: Analysis of the reaction time to visual stimuli after using TMS to the V1 visual cortex revealed an increase in the number of incorrect recognitions, and the reaction time was from 843 to 910 ms. In the subgroup of participants (n = 15), after the stimulation, there were significant reductions of BOLD signal in blood flow within V1 cortices. Conclusions: The studies of reaction times after the rTMS revealed the inhibitory effect of rTMS on the reaction times and recognition performance of significant (military) objects in the visual field. Full article
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18 pages, 12613 KiB  
Article
Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation to the Primary Motor Cortex Reduces Cortical Inhibition: A TMS-EEG Study
by Zhongfei Bai, Jiaqi Zhang and Kenneth N. K. Fong
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(9), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11091114 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2874
Abstract
Introduction: The aim of this study was to reveal the effects of intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) in modulating cortical networks using transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) recording. Methods: Eighteen young adults participated in our study and received iTBS to the primary [...] Read more.
Introduction: The aim of this study was to reveal the effects of intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) in modulating cortical networks using transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) recording. Methods: Eighteen young adults participated in our study and received iTBS to the primary motor cortex (M1), supplementary motor area, and the primary visual cortex in three separate sessions. A finger tapping task and ipsilateral single-pulse TMS-EEG recording for the M1 were administrated before and after iTBS in each session. The effects of iTBS in motor performance and TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) were investigated. Results: The results showed that iTBS to the M1, but not supplementary motor area or the primary visual cortex, significantly reduced the N100 amplitude of M1 TEPs in bilateral hemispheres (p = 0.019), with a more prominent effect in the contralateral hemisphere than in the stimulated hemisphere. Moreover, only iTBS to the M1 decreased global mean field power (corrected ps < 0.05), interhemispheric signal propagation (t = 2.53, p = 0.030), and TMS-induced early α-band synchronization (p = 0.020). Conclusion: Our study confirmed the local and remote after-effects of iTBS in reducing cortical inhibition in the M1. TMS-induced oscillations after iTBS for changed cortical excitability in patients with various neurological and psychiatric conditions are worth further exploration. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 600 KiB  
Review
Combining Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Deep Brain Stimulation: Current Knowledge, Relevance and Future Perspectives
by Valentina D’Onofrio, Nicoletta Manzo, Andrea Guerra, Andrea Landi, Valentina Baro, Sara Määttä, Luca Weis, Camillo Porcaro, Maurizio Corbetta, Angelo Antonini and Florinda Ferreri
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020349 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as an invasive neuromodulation technique for the treatment of several neurological disorders, but the mechanisms underlying its effects remain partially elusive. In this context, the application of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in patients treated with DBS represents [...] Read more.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as an invasive neuromodulation technique for the treatment of several neurological disorders, but the mechanisms underlying its effects remain partially elusive. In this context, the application of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in patients treated with DBS represents an intriguing approach to investigate the neurophysiology of cortico-basal networks. Experimental studies combining TMS and DBS that have been performed so far have mainly aimed to evaluate the effects of DBS on the cerebral cortex and thus to provide insights into DBS’s mechanisms of action. The modulation of cortical excitability and plasticity by DBS is emerging as a potential contributor to its therapeutic effects. Moreover, pairing DBS and TMS stimuli could represent a method to induce cortical synaptic plasticity, the therapeutic potential of which is still unexplored. Furthermore, the advent of new DBS technologies and novel treatment targets will present new research opportunities and prospects to investigate brain networks. However, the application of the combined TMS-DBS approach is currently limited by safety concerns. In this review, we sought to present an overview of studies performed by combining TMS and DBS in neurological disorders, as well as available evidence and recommendations on the safety of their combination. Additionally, we outline perspectives for future research by highlighting knowledge gaps and possible novel applications of this approach. Full article
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17 pages, 339 KiB  
Review
Action Selection and Motor Decision Making: Insights from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
by Margherita Tecilla, Andrea Guerra, Lorenzo Rocchi, Sara Määttä, Matteo Bologna, Maria Herrojo Ruiz, Roberta Biundo, Angelo Antonini and Florinda Ferreri
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(5), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12050639 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2258
Abstract
In everyday life, goal-oriented motor behaviour relies on the estimation of the rewards/costs associated with alternative actions and on the appropriate selection of movements. Motor decision making is defined as the process by which a motor plan is chosen among a set of [...] Read more.
In everyday life, goal-oriented motor behaviour relies on the estimation of the rewards/costs associated with alternative actions and on the appropriate selection of movements. Motor decision making is defined as the process by which a motor plan is chosen among a set of competing actions based on the expected value. In the present literature review we discuss evidence from transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies of motor control. We focus primarily on studies of action selection for instructed movements and motor decision making. In the first section, we delve into the usefulness of various TMS paradigms to characterise the contribution of motor areas and distributed brain networks to cued action selection. Then, we address the influence of motivational information (e.g., reward and biomechanical cost) in guiding action choices based on TMS findings. Finally, we conclude that TMS represents a powerful tool for elucidating the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying action choices in humans. Full article
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