Intermittent theta burst stimulation over primary motor cortex enhances movement-related beta synchronisation

Ya Fang Hsu, Kwong Kum Liao, Po Lei Lee, Yun An Tsai, Chia Lung Yeh, Kuan Lin Lai, Ying Zu Huang, Yung Yang Lin, I. Hui Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate how transcranial magnetic intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) with a prolonged protocol affects human cortical excitability and movement-related oscillations. Methods: Using motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) and movement-related magnetoencephalography (MEG), we assessed the changes of corticospinal excitability and cortical oscillations after iTBS with double the conventional stimulation time (1200 pulses, iTBS1200) over the primary motor cortex (M1) in 10 healthy subjects. Continuous TBS (cTBS1200) and sham stimulation served as controls. Results: iTBS1200 facilitated MEPs evoked from the conditioned M1, while inhibiting MEPs from the contralateral M1 for 30. min. By contrast, cTBS1200 inhibited MEPs from the conditioned M1. Importantly, empirical mode decomposition-based MEG analysis showed that the amplitude of post-movement beta synchronisation (16-26. Hz) was significantly increased by iTBS1200 at the conditioned M1, but was suppressed at the nonconditioned M1. Alpha (8-13. Hz) and low gamma-ranged (35-45. Hz) rhythms were not notably affected. Movement kinetics remained consistent throughout. Conclusions: TBS1200 modulated corticospinal excitability in parallel with the direction of conventional paradigms with modestly prolonged efficacy. Moreover, iTBS1200 increased post-movement beta synchronisation of the stimulated M1, and decreased that of the contralateral M1, probably through interhemispheric interaction. Significance: Our results provide insight into the underlying mechanism of TBS and reinforce the connection between movement-related beta synchronisation and corticospinal output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2260-2267
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 11 2011


  • Event-related desynchronisation (ERD)
  • Event-related synchronisation (ERS)
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • Theta burst stimulation (TBS)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)


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