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A comparison of two methods for estimating 50% of the maximal motor evoked potential

By J.B. Pitcher, S.H. Doeltgen, M.R Goldsworthy, L.A Schneider, A.M. Vallence, A.E Smith, J.G Semmler, M.N. McDonnell and M.C. Ridding


OBJECTIVES: Two commonly-used methods for setting stimulus intensities in transcranial magnetic brain stimulation studies were compared to determine which best approximated a motor evoked potential (MEP) of 50% of the maximal MEP amplitude (SI50); a suprathreshold intensity relative to resting motor threshold (rMT) or adjusting the intensity to evoke an MEP amplitude of 1mV. METHODS: Corticomotor stimulus-response curves and rMT for the right first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle of 176 subjects (aged 10-74years) were retrospectively analysed. RESULTS: Regardless of subject age or sex, SI50 occurred at 127.5+/-11.3% rMT. Except in young children, MEPs of 1mV were significantly smaller than those evoked at SI50. CONCLUSIONS: In the inactive FDI muscle, a stimulus intensity of 127-128% rMT consistently gives the best approximation of SI50 in most subjects, except perhaps young children. SIGNIFICANCE: Setting TMS stimulus intensities relative to rMT provides a less variable inter-subject comparator, with respect to individual differences in corticomotor input-output characteristics, than adjusting the stimulator output to give an absolute MEP magnitude

Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2015
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Provided by: Research Repository
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