Journal of Neurology

, Volume 257, Issue 10, pp 1669–1674

Theta burst stimulation over the primary motor cortex does not induce cortical plasticity in Parkinson’s disease

  • Carsten Eggers
  • Gereon R. Fink
  • Dennis A. Nowak
Original Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00415-010-5597-1

Cite this article as:
Eggers, C., Fink, G.R. & Nowak, D.A. J Neurol (2010) 257: 1669. doi:10.1007/s00415-010-5597-1


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a period of continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) induces cortical plasticity and thus improves bradykinesia of the upper limb in Parkinson’s disease. In eight patients with Parkinson’s disease (two females; mean age: 68.5 ± 5 years; disease duration: 4 ± 3 years) electrophysiological (motor evoked potentials, contralateral and ipsilateral silent period) and behavioural (Purdue pegboard test, UPDRS motor subscore) parameters were evaluated before (baseline condition) and after a 40-s period of (1) real or (2) sham continuous theta burst stimulation over the primary motor cortex contralateral to the more affected body side off dopaminergic drugs. Compared to baseline, cTBS did change neither measures of cortical excitability nor behavioural measures. cTBS over the primary motor cortex does not impact on cortical excitability or motor function of the upper limb in Parkinson’s disease. We interpret these data to reflect impaired cortical plasticity in Parkinson’s disease. This study is an important contribution to the knowledge about impaired plasticity in Parkinson’s disease.


Basal ganglia Neuromodulation Brain plasticity M1 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Eggers
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gereon R. Fink
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dennis A. Nowak
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Cognitive Neurology Section, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-3)Research Centre JülichJülichGermany
  3. 3.Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of NeurologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Klinik Kipfenberg, Neurologische Fachklinik, Neurological HospitalKipfenbergGermany

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