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Forschungsdatenbank PMU-SQQUID

Spinal cord injury affects I-wave facilitation in human motor cortex.
Nardone, R; Höller, Y; Bathke, AC; Orioli, A; Schwenker, K; Frey, V; Golaszewski, S; Brigo, F; Trinka, E;
Brain Res Bull. 2015; 116:93-97
Originalarbeiten (Zeitschrift)


Frey Vanessa Natalie
Golaszewski Stefan
Höller Yvonne
Nardone Raffaele
Schwenker Kerstin
Trinka Eugen


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a useful non-invasive approach for studying cortical physiology. To further clarify the mechanisms of cortical reorganization after spinal cord injury (SCI), we used a non-invasive paired TMS protocol for the investigation of the corticospinal I-waves, the so-called I-wave facilitation, in eight patients with cervical SCI. We found that the pattern of I-wave facilitation significantly differs between SCI patients with normal and abnormal central motor conduction (CMCT), and healthy controls. The group with normal CMCT showed increased I-wave facilitation, while the group with abnormal CMCT showed lower I-wave facilitation compared to a control group. The facilitatory I-wave interaction occurs at the level of the motor cortex, and the mechanisms responsible for the production of I-waves are under control of GABA-related inhibition. Therefore, the findings of our small sample preliminary study provide further physiological evidence of increased motor cortical excitability in patients with preserved corticospinal projections. This is possibly due to decreased GABAergic intracortical inhibition. The excitability of networks producing short-interval intracortical facilitation could increase after SCI as a mechanism to enhance activation of residual corticospinal tract pathways and thus compensate for the impaired ability of the motor cortex to generate appropriate voluntary movements. Finally, the I-wave facilitation technique could be used in clinical neurorehabilitation as an additional method of assessing and monitoring function in SCI.

Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)



Evoked Potentials, Motor



Lower Extremity/physiopathology


Middle Aged

Motor Cortex/physiopathology*

Muscle, Skeletal/physiopathology

Neural Inhibition/physiology

Pyramidal Tracts/physiopathology*

Spinal Cord Injuries/physiopathology*

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Upper Extremity/physiopathology

gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/metabolism

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)

Spinal cord injury
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
I-wave facilitation
Central motor conduction
Corticospinal tract