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Relationship between high-frequency activity in the cortical sensory and the motor hand areas, and their myelin content

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BACKGROUND: The human primary sensory (S1) and primary motor (M1) hand areas feature high-frequency neuronal responses. Electrical nerve stimulation evokes high-frequency oscillations (HFO) at around 650 Hz in the contralateral S1. Likewise, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of M1 can evoke a series of descending volleys in the corticospinal pathway that can be detected non-invasively with a paired-pulse TMS protocol, called short interval intracortical facilitation (SICF). SICF features several peaks of facilitation of motor evoked potentials in contralateral hand muscles, which are separated by inter-peak intervals resembling HFO rhythmicity.

HYPOTHESIS: In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the individual expressions of HFO and SICF are tightly related to each other and to the regional myelin content in the sensorimotor cortex.

METHODS: In 24 healthy volunteers, we recorded HFO and SICF, and, in a subgroup of 20 participants, we mapped the cortical myelin content using the ratio between the T1- and T2-weighted MRI signal as read-out.

RESULTS: The individual frequencies and magnitudes of HFO and SICF curves were tightly correlated: the intervals between the first and second peak of cortical HFO and SICF showed a positive linear relationship (r = 0.703, p < 0.001), while their amplitudes were inversely related (r = -0.613, p = 0.001). The rhythmicity, but not the magnitude of the high-frequency responses, was related to the cortical myelin content: the higher the cortical myelin content, the shorter the inter-peak intervals of HFO and SICF.

CONCLUSION: The results confirm a tight functional relationship between high-frequency responses in S1 (i.e., HFO) and M1 (i.e., as measured with SICF). They also establish a link between the degree of regional cortical myelination and the expression of high-frequency responses in the human sensorimotor cortex, giving further the opportunity to infer their generators.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer018
TidsskriftBrain Stimulation
Vol/bind15
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)717-726
Antal sider10
ISSN1935-861X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - maj 2022

Bibliografisk note

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.

ID: 77847087