Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterised by motor symptoms. In addition, PD patients show pronounced slowing of resting-state oscillatory brain activity compared to healthy controls. Potential therapeutic effects on motor symptoms of PD have been demonstrated by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). However, the precise electrophysiological mechanisms behind these effects are unknown. In this cross-over, sham-controlled study, 15 off-drug PD patients underwent both active and sham high-frequency rTMS at 10 Hz performed on the primary motor cortex (M1). Active rTMS improved overall motor performance and induced an increase of oscillatory activity with a shift of low electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha (α) peak towards higher frequencies of around 9.00-9.75 Hz 30 minutes after active brain stimulation. This pattern of brain rhythm modulation suggests that 10 Hz rTMS over M1 acts on the thalamocortical resonance interplay entraining neural oscillations at approximately the same frequency, in association with clinical improvement of motor performance in PD.
G. Fuggetta, M. Sandrini, C. Arcaro, M. Tinazzi, P. Manganotti, A neurophysiological insight into use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation as potential therapeutic tool in Parkinson’s disease, Human Behaviour and Brain1(1), 16-21 (2020).