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Low-frequency transcranial stimulation of pre-supplementary motor area alleviates levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease: a randomized cross-over trial

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Levodopa-induced dyskinesia gradually emerges during long-term dopamine therapy, causing major disability in patients with Parkinson disease. Using pharmacodynamic functional MRI, we have previously shown that the intake of levodopa triggers an excessive activation of the pre-supplementary motor area in Parkinson disease patients with peak-of-dose dyskinesia. In this pre-registered, interventional study, we tested whether the abnormal responsiveness of the pre-supplementary motor area to levodopa may constitute a 'stimulation target' for treating dyskinesia. A gender-balanced group of 17 Parkinson disease patients with peak-of-dose dyskinesia received 30 min of robot-assisted repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, after they had paused their anti-Parkinson medication. Real-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation at 100% or sham-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation at 30% of individual resting corticomotor threshold of left first dorsal interosseous muscle was applied on separate days in counterbalanced order. Following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, patients took 200 mg of oral levodopa and underwent functional MRI to map brain activity, while they performed the same go/no-go task as in our previous study. Blinded video assessment revealed that real-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation delayed the onset of dyskinesia and reduced its severity relative to sham-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Individual improvement in dyskinesia severity scaled linearly with the modulatory effect of real-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on task-related activation in the pre-supplementary motor area. Stimulation-induced delay in dyskinesia onset correlated positively with the induced electrical field strength in the pre-supplementary motor area. Our results provide converging evidence that the levodopa-triggered increase in pre-supplementary motor area activity plays a causal role in the pathophysiology of peak-of-dose dyskinesia and constitutes a promising cortical target for brain stimulation therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfcaa147
JournalBrain communications
Volume2
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
ISSN2632-1297
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 61307904