Objective: Several studies have shown that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is effective in the treatment of depression in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). However, since research into the effect of this type of rTMS regime on motor function is limited, we studied the effect of rTMS over the DLPFC on the motor functions in PD patients.
Methods: Thirteen patients were randomly assigned into 2 groups, one receiving real-rTMS (90% of resting motor threshold, 10 Hz, 450 pulses-day for 10 consecutive days) over the DLPFC contralateral to the more affected side, and the other group receiving sham-rTMS. Assessment included a clinical motor evaluation using part III of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), and several motor tasks. The UPDRS was applied before and after 10 days of rTMS. Finger tapping, reach movement, grip movement and gait were measured in each session before and after the rTMS over the 10 day period.
Results: Statistical analysis (ANOVA for repeated measures; group *day *side *rTMS) only showed a significant effect for finger tapping, reach movement and gait for the factor day. No significant change was reported for the UPDRS in any group.
Conclusions: Application of rTMS over the DLPFC as a 10 day course had no significant effect on motor functions and clinical motor status, and the improvement in performance of motor tasks can be attributed to the effects of practice.
Significance: rTMS over the DLPFC did not lead to any motor improvement in PD patients.