Imaging the effects of rTMS-induced cortical plasticity.
Stagg CJ., O'Shea J., Johansen-Berg H.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) paradigms are showing increasing promise as tools for neurorehabilitation in a variety of chronic neurological and psychiatric conditions. However, the mechanisms by which they modulate cortical activation are still not completely understood. In this review we summarize what non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques can tell us about the cortical effects of rTMS - from changes at a cellular level within the stimulated motor cortex, to modulating activation patterns within the wider motor network. We discuss how variation in these effects in stroke patients may inform our understanding of how rTMS could improve function in these patients.