Journal of Neurology

, Volume 252, Issue 7, pp 765–771 | Cite as

Corticomotor organisation and motor function in multiple sclerosis

  • G. W. Thickbroom
  • M. L. Byrnes
  • S. A. Archer
  • A. G. Kermode
  • F. L. Mastaglia


Our objective was to determine whether there are changes in the corticomotor map for the hand in multiple sclerosis, and whether these changes correlate with indices of motor function and measures of corticomotor conduction or excitability. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) maps, motor evoked potential (MEP) latency and amplitude, motor threshold and EDSS and Purduepegboard measurements were made in 26 subjects with relapsingremitting multiple sclerosis. Correlations were sought between these measurements using the Pearson product–moment correlation with a level of significance of p = 0.05 (two–tailed). Map displacement was positively correlated with MEP latency (p = 3×10–4) and EDSS (p = 0.007), and negatively correlated with Purdue score (p = 4×10–4). Purdue scores correlated with all MEP parameters (latency, p = 4×10–10; threshold, p = 4×10–6; amplitude, p = 0.003). We conclude that motor reorganisation is associated with impaired corticomotor conduction and may reflect a process of neural plasticity associated with axonal demyelination in MS. An understanding of motor function in MS should incorporate models of both axonal demyelination and conduction deficits as well as neural plasticity.

Key words

multiple sclerosis cortical organisation transcranial magnetic stimulation 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. W. Thickbroom
    • 1
  • M. L. Byrnes
    • 1
  • S. A. Archer
    • 1
  • A. G. Kermode
    • 1
  • F. L. Mastaglia
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Neuromuscular and Neurological Disorders M518University of Western Australia, Queen Elizabeth II Medical CentreNedlands (WA) 6009Australia

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