Adding a Second iTBS Block in 15 or 60 Min Time Interval Does Not Increase iTBS Effects on Motor Cortex Excitability and the Responder Rates

SOURCE: Brain Sciences. 12(8) (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 1064.


AUTHORS: Bakulin I.; Zabirova A.; Sinitsyn D.; Poydasheva A.; Lagoda D.; Suponeva N.; Piradov M.

ABSTRACT: The use of metaplasticity-based intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) protocols including several stimulation blocks could be a possible approach to increasing stimulation effectiveness. Our aim was to investigate the neurophysiological effects of two protocols with a short and a long interval between blocks. Seventeen healthy volunteers received four protocols in a pseudorandomized order: iTBS 0-15 (two blocks of active iTBS of primary motor cortex (M1) separated by 15 min and a control stimulation block of the vertex in 60 min from the first block); iTBS 0-60 (active iTBS, a control block in 15 min, and an active block in 60 min); iTBS 0 (active iTBS and two control blocks with the same intervals); and Control (three control blocks). The motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were measured before the first and after the second and third blocks. We have shown no significant differences between the effects of the protocols on both the motor cortex excitability and the responder rates. No significant changes of MEPs were observed after all the protocols. The reliability for the responsiveness to a single block between two sessions was
insignificant. Our data confirm low reproducibility of the response to iTBS and suggest that the use of repeated protocols does not increase the responder rates or neurophysiological effects of iTBS.