Few studies have identified the intrahemispheric functional connectivity between the ipsilateral dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) and the primary motor hand area (M1hand) due to technical limitations. In this proof-of-concept study, a novel neuronavigated dsTMS set-up was employed, combining stimulation over left PMd and left M1hand using the edge of a butterfly coil and a small cooled-coil. This arrangement was warranted because coil (over)heating and inter coil distance are limiting factors when investigating connectivity between stimulation targets in close proximity and over a longer duration. The proposed set-up was designed to deal with these limitations. Specifically, the effect of four dual-site transcranial magnetic stimulation (dsTMS) protocols on twenty-eight right-handed participants (12 males) was evaluated. These protocols differed in stimulus order, interstimulus interval and current direction induced in PMd. A structural scan with electric (E-)field modeling was obtained from seven participants prior to dsTMS, demonstrating that PMd and M1hand were effectively stimulated. Results indicate that one protocol, in which a latero-medial current was induced in PMd 2.8 ms prior to stimulation over M1hand, induced a sex-mediated effect. In males, significant inhibition of motor-evoked potentials was identified, whereas females demonstrated a facilitatory effect that did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. E-field simulations revealed that the E-field induced by the coil targeting PMd was maximal in PMd, with weaker E-field strengths extending to regions beyond PMd. Summarizing, the current dsTMS set-up enabled stimulating at an inter-target distance of 35 mm without any indications of coil-overheating.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2021|