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Publication Detail
Effect of coil orientation on strength-duration time constant and I-wave activation with controllable pulse parameter transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Rothwell JC, D'Ostillio K, hannah R, Chieffo R, Goetz S, Peterchev A
  • Publisher:
  • Journal:
    Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Print ISSN:
  • Addresses:
    Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute Hospital San Raffaele

    MoVeRe Group, Cyclotron Research Centre,


    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University,
Objective: To compare the strength-duration (S-D) time constants of motor cortex structures activated by current pulses oriented posterior-anterior (PA) or anterior-posterior (AP) across the central sulcus. Methods: Motor threshold and input–output curve, along with motor evoked potential (MEP) latencies, of first dorsal interosseus were determined at pulse widths of 30, 60, and 120 μs using a controllable pulse parameter (cTMS) device, with the coil oriented PA or AP. These were used to estimate the S-D time constant and we compared with data for responses evoked by cTMS of the ulnar nerve at the elbow. Results: The S-D time constant with PA was shorter than for AP stimulation (230.9 ± 97.2 vs. 294.2 ± 90.9 s; p<0.001). These values were similar to those calculated after stimulation of ulnar nerve (197 ± 47s). MEP latencies to AP, but not PA stimulation were affected by pulse width, showing longer latencies following short duration stimuli. Conclusion: PA and AP stimuli appear to activate the axons of neurons with different time constants. Short duration AP pulses are more selective than longer pulses in recruiting longer latency corticospinal output. Significance: More selective stimulation of neural elements may be achieved by manipulating pulse width and orientation.
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