Reduced prefrontal short-latency afferent inhibition in older adults and its relation to executive function: A TMS-EEG study

Yoshihiro Noda, Reza Zomorrodi-Moghaddam, Felicity Backhouse, Robin F.H. Cash, Mera S Barr, Tarek K Rajji, Robert Chen, Zafiris Jeff Daskalakis, Daniel M Blumberger

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Combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with electroencephalography (EEG) allows for the assessment of various neurophysiological processes in the human cortex. One of these paradigms, short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI), is thought to be a sensitive measure of cholinergic activity. In a previous study, we demonstrated the temporal pattern of this paradigm from both the motor (M1) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) using simultaneous TMS-EEG recording. The SAI paradigm led to marked modulations at N100. In this study, we aimed to investigate the age-related effects on TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) with the SAI from M1 and the DLPFC in younger (18-59 years old) and older (≥60 years old) participants. Older participants showed significantly lower N100 modulation in M1-SAI as well as DLPFC-SAI compared to the younger participants. Furthermore, the modulation of N100 by DLPFC-SAI in the older participants correlated with executive function as measured with the Trail making test. This paradigm has the potential to non-invasively identify cholinergic changes in cortical regions related to cognition in older participants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017


  • Age-related changes
  • Cognition
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Short-latency afferent inhibition

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