Influence of different transcranial magnetic stimulation current directions on the corticomotor control of lumbar erector spinae muscles during a static task.

TitleInfluence of different transcranial magnetic stimulation current directions on the corticomotor control of lumbar erector spinae muscles during a static task.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsDesmons, M, Rohel, A, Desgagnés, A, Mercier, C, Massé-Alarie, H
JournalJ Neurophysiol
Date Published2021 10 01
KeywordsAdult, Electromyography, Evoked Potentials, Motor, Humans, Lumbar Vertebrae, Motor Cortex, Nerve Net, Neural Inhibition, Paraspinal Muscles, Reaction Time, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Young Adult

Different directions of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can activate different neuronal circuits. Whereas posteroanterior current (PA-TMS) depolarizes mainly interneurons in primary motor cortex (M1), an anteroposterior current (AP-TMS) has been suggested to activate different M1 circuits and perhaps axons from the premotor regions. Although M1 is also involved in the control of axial muscles, no study has explored whether different current directions activate different M1 circuits that may have distinct functional roles. The aim of the study was to compare the effect of different current directions (PA- and AP-TMS) on the corticomotor control and spatial cortical organization of the lumbar erector spinae muscle (LES). Thirty-four healthy participants were recruited for two independent experiments, and LES motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded. In ( = 17), active motor threshold (AMT), MEP latencies, recruitment curve (90% to 160% AMT), and excitatory and inhibitory intracortical mechanisms by paired-pulse TMS (80% followed by 120% AMT stimuli at 2-, 3-, 10-, and 15-ms interstimulus intervals) were tested with a double-cone ( = 12) and a figure-of-eight ( = 5) coil. In ( = 17), LES cortical representations were tested with PA- and AP-TMS. AMT was higher for AP- compared with PA-TMS ( = 0.002). Longer latencies with AP-TMS were present compared with PA-TMS ( = 0.017). AP-TMS produced more inhibition compared with PA-TMS at 2 ms and 3 ms ( = 0.010), but no difference was observed for longer intervals. No difference was found for recruitment curve and mapping. These findings suggest that PA- and AP-TMS may activate different cortical circuits controlling low back muscles, as proposed for hand muscles. For the first time, anteroposterior and posteroanterior induced electric currents in the brain were compared when targeting back muscle representation with transcranial magnetic stimulation. The use of the anteroposterior current resulted in later response latency, larger inhibition probed by paired-pulse stimulation, and higher motor threshold. These important differences between current directions suggest that each of the current directions may recruit specific cortical circuits involved in the control of back muscles, similar to that for hand muscles.

Alternate JournalJ Neurophysiol
PubMed ID34550037