• methylphenidate;
  • intracortical excitability;
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder;
  • children;
  • healthy adults

Objective: To test the effects of a standard dosage of the psychostimulant methylphenidate (MPH) – which significantly enhances intracortical inhibition but had no effects on intracortical facilitation in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – on intracortical excitability in healthy subjects.

Method: In 12 healthy subjects, aged 20–40 years, intracortical inhibition and facilitation were investigated before and 70 min after the intake of 10 mg MPH using the technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with the paired-stimulus paradigm.

Results: In comparison of the two TMS measurements, a significant enhancement in intracortical facilitation but no effects on intracortical inhibition could be stated under MPH administration.

Conclusion: This study provides first evidence for opposite effects of MPH on intracortical excitability in healthy adult subjects showing enhanced intracortical facilitation in contrast to ADHD children in whom enhanced intracortical inhibition has recently been shown.