Imaging brain activation induced by long trains of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

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USING Positron emission tomography (PET), we measured the relative changes in regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (rCMRglc) during 2Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the left sensorimotor cortex (SM1) and during imitation of rTMS-induced arm movements. Such stimulation caused an rCMRglc increase of about 8% within the SM1. The relative rCMRglc increase within SM1 was significantly greater in magnitude and larger in area during voluntary imitation of rTMS-induced arm movements. Moreover, the rostral part of the SMA was significantly more activated by voluntary movements than during rTMS. Combining rTMS and PET has the potential to visualize rTMS-related net brain activation, and may open up new possibilities for functional network analysis by comparing willed brain activation with electromagnetic brain activation.

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