F-Wave Suppression Induced by Suprathreshold High-Frequency Repetitive Trascranial Magnetic Stimulation in Poststroke Patients with Increased Spasticity


Address correspondence to: Takamitsu Yamamoto, MD, PhD, Division of Applied System Neuroscience, Department of Neurological Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan. Email: yamamoto.takamitsu@nihon-u.ac.jp



High-intensity and high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the primary motor cortex was carried out in poststroke patients with increased spasticity, and the changes in F-wave parameters in comparison with M-wave parameters induced by rTMS were examined.


Ten-hertz rTMS pulses were delivered to the primary motor cortex of the lesion side at 110% intensity of the resting motor threshold, and F-waves were obtained from the first dorsal interosseous muscle. F-waves were recorded before (pre-stim) and immediately after the end of rTMS (post-stim) in poststroke patients.


F-wave persistence and F/M Amp.Ratio increased significantly in patients with lesions in upper motor tract as compared with healthy subjects (Wilcoxon rank sum test, p = 0.00023 and p = 0.0073, respectively). After the rTMS application, both F-wave persistence and F/M Amp.Ratio decreased significantly (paired t-test, p = 0.0095 and p = 0.037, respectively). However, the F-wave amplitude did not show a statistically significant variance in poststroke patients.


High-frequency suprathreshold rTMS may suppress the F-waves by enhancing the inhibitory effect on spinal excitability through the corticospinal tract, and F-wave persistence and F/M Amp.Ratio can be used to determine the effect of rTMS on patients with increased spasticity.