Therapeutic Application of rTMS in Neurodegenerative and Movement Disorders: A Review

Source: Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology. 62:102622, 2022 Feb.

Pateraki G; Anargyros K; Aloizou AM; Siokas V; Bakirtzis C; Liampas I; Tsouris Z; Ziogka P; Sgantzos M; Folia V; Peristeri E; Dardiotis E

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive form of brain
stimulation that makes use of the magnetic field generated when an electric current passes through a magnetic coil placed over the scalp. It can be applied as a single stimulus at a time, in pairs of stimuli, or repetitively in trains of stimuli (repetitive TMS, rTMS). RTMS can induce changes in brain activity, whose after-effects reflect the processes of long-term potentiation and long-term depression, as certain protocols, namely those using low frequencies (<=1 Hz) seem to suppress cortical excitability, while those using high frequencies (>1 Hz) seem to enhance it. It is a technique with very few and mostly mild side-effects, whose
effects can persist for long time periods, and as such, it has been studied as a potential treatment option in a multitude of neurodegenerative diseases, including those affecting movement. Although rTMS has received approval as a treatment strategy of only a few aspects in movement disorders in the latest guidelines, its further use seems to also be promising in their context. In this review, we gathered the available literature on the therapeutic application of rTMS in movement disorders, namely Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Dystonia, Tic disorders and Essential Tremor.