Although the cerebellum is not among the most renowned brain structures affected in Alzheimer`s disease (AD), recent evidence suggest that it undergoes degenerative changes during the course of the disease. A main neurophysiological feature of AD patients is the remarkable impairment of long term potentiation (LTP)-like cortical plasticity assessed in the primary motor cortex (M1) using theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocols. In healthy conditions, continuous (cTBS) and intermittent TBS (iTBS) of the cerebellum induce respectively long term depression (LTD)-like and LTP-like after effects in the contralateral M1. Here we aimed at examining the effects of cerebellar TBS on contralateral M1 excitability in a sample of 15 AD patients and 12 healthy age matched controls (HS). Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were obtained in the contralateral M1 before and after cerebellar cTBS and iTBS protocols. As compared to HS, AD patients showed an impairment of LTP-like cortical plasticity mechanisms following cerebellar iTBS. No difference was observed for the cTBS protocol, in which both populations exhibited the expected LTD-like after effect. This study shows that mechanisms of cerebellar-cortical plasticity are impaired in AD. Given its role in high order cognitive functions, new potential therapeutic strategies could be built up in the future to modulate neural activity in the cerebellum in AD.
|Titolo:||Effects of Cerebellar Theta Burst Stimulation on Contralateral Motor Cortex Excitability in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|