Direct-current-dependent shift of theta-burst-induced plasticity in the human motor cortex

Alkomiet Hasan, Masashi Hamada, Michael A Nitsche, Diane Ruge, Joseph M Galea, Thomas Wobrock, John C Rothwell

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29 Citations (Scopus)
321 Downloads (Pure)


Animal studies using polarising currents have shown that induction of synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) by bursts of patterned stimulation is affected by the membrane potential of the postsynaptic neurone. The aim of the present experiments was to test whether it is possible to observe similar phenomena in humans with the aim of improving present protocols of inducing synaptic plasticity for therapeutic purposes. We tested whether the LTP/LTD-like after effects of transcranial theta-burst stimulation (TBS) of human motor cortex, an analogue of patterned electrical stimulation in animals, were affected by simultaneous transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive method of polarising cortical neurones in humans. Nine healthy volunteers were investigated in a single-blind, balanced cross-over study; continuous TBS (cTBS) was used to introduce LTD-like after effects, whereas intermittent TBS (iTBS) produced LTP-like effects. Each pattern was coupled with concurrent application of tDCS (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex
  • Nerve Net
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation


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