Cortical excitability and neurology: Insights into the pathophysiology

Radwa A B Badawy, Tobias Loetscher, Richard A L Macdonell, Amy Brodtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technique developed to non-invasively investigate the integrity of human motor corticospinal tracts. Over the last three decades, the use of stimulation paradigms including single-pulse TMS, paired-pulse TMS, repetitive TMS, and integration with EEG and functional imaging have been developed to facilitate measurement of cortical excitability. Through the use of these protocols, TMS has evolved into an excellent tool for measuring cortical excitability. TMS has high sensitivity in detecting subtle changes in cortical excitability, and therefore it is also a good measure of disturbances associated with brain disorders. In this review, we appraise the current literature on cortical excitability studies using TMS in neurological disorders. We begin with a brief overview of current TMS measures and then show how these have added to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of brain disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortical excitability
  • Neurological disorders
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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