Transcranial magnetic stimulation study.
To further investigate the corticospinal excitability changes after spinal cord injury (SCI), as assessed by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Merano (Italy) and Salzburg (Austria).
We studied resting motor threshold (RMT), motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and recruitment curve in five subjects with good recovery after traumatic incomplete cervical SCI.
RMT did not differ significantly between patients and controls, whereas the slope of MEP recruitment curve was significantly increased in the patients.
This abnormal finding may represent an adaptive response after SCI. The impaired ability of the motor cortex to generate proper voluntary movement may be compensated by increasing spinal excitability. The easily performed measurement of MEP recruitment curve may provide a useful additional tool to improve the assessment and monitoring of motor cortical function in subjects with SCI. Increasing our knowledge of the corticospinal excitability changes in the functional recovery after SCI may also support the development of effective therapeutic strategies.