Post-exercise facilitation and depression of M wave and motor evoked potentials in healthy subjects

Clin Neurophysiol. 2002 Jul;113(7):1092-8. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(02)00031-7.


Objectives: To characterize so-called central fatigue, the effect of various levels of exercise on central and peripheral motor potentials were compared.

Methods: Thirteen healthy subjects performed 4 levels of exercise following isometric dorsiflexion of the foot. Post-exercise recordings from the anterior tibial muscle of motor evoked potentials (MEP) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and M wave evoked by electrical stimulation of the peroneal nerve were performed.

Results: After 5 s the post-exercise MEP amplitude increased. The increase was related to the degree of work performed. Subsequently, there was a gradually decrease of amplitude reaching statistical significance after 15 min. The area of the M wave increased significantly after 10 s and returned to baseline after 2-3 min.

Conclusions: Facilitation and depression of MEP after fatiguing exercise is at least partly a peripheral phenomenon dependent on the level of exercise performed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology