Repeated premotor rTMS leads to cumulative plastic changes of motor cortex excitability in humans

Tobias Bäumer, Rüdiger Lange, Joachim Liepert, Cornelius Weiller, Hartwig R. Siebner, John C. Rothwell, Alexander Münchau*

*Corresponding author for this work
120 Citations (Scopus)


We explored the aftereffects of two premotor 1 Hz rTMS sessions on motor cortex excitability in healthy humans. In experiment 1, 11 healthy right-handed volunteers received 20-min submotor threshold 1 Hz rTMS trains over the left premotor cortex on 2 consecutive days. Left motor cortex excitability was determined at baseline, immediately after, 30, 60, 120 min, and 24 h after each rTMS session. We measured motor thresholds, amplitudes of motor-evoked potentials, silent periods, and paired-pulse excitability at interstimulus intervals (ISI) of 3-7, 10, and 15 ms. In experiment 2, 5 volunteers received two identical rTMS trains on Days 1 and 7. Measurements were carried out on Day 1 (first rTMS train), Day 2, and Day 7 (second rTMS train). In experiment 1 there was a selective increase of paired pulse facilitation at an ISI of 7 ms after rTMS lasting for less than 30 min on Day 1. This effect was also present after rTMS on Day 2. However, it persisted for at least 2 h. In experiment 2 the same extra facilitation was induced by rTMS on Days 1 and 7 but not on Day 2. It lasted for less than 30 min on both Day 1 and Day 7. We conclude that 1 Hz premotor rTMS leads to cumulative plastic changes of intrinsic motor cortex excitability when repeated within 24 h but not after 1 week, implying the formation of memory after the first rTMS train lasting more than a day but less than a week.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)550-560
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2003


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