Brain plasticity in the adult: modulation of function in amblyopia with rTMS

Curr Biol. 2008 Jul 22;18(14):1067-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.052.


Amblyopia is a cortically based visual disorder caused by disruption of vision during a critical early developmental period. It is often thought to be a largely intractable problem in adult patients because of a lack of neuronal plasticity after this critical period [1]; however, recent advances have suggested that plasticity is still present in the adult amblyopic visual cortex [2-6]. Here, we present data showing that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the visual cortex can temporarily improve contrast sensitivity in the amblyopic visual cortex. The results indicate continued plasticity of the amblyopic visual system in adulthood and open the way for a potential new therapeutic approach to the treatment of amblyopia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amblyopia / physiopathology
  • Amblyopia / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Humans
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Psychophysics
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology