Objectives: Increasing evidence suggests that dysfunctions of the cortico-cerebello-thalamocortical circuit are involved in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. This study explores the effects of cerebellar repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on cerebello-thalamocortical pathways.
Methods: Ten healthy volunteers received MRI-guided rTMS in four separate sessions (120% motor threshold, 1000 stimuli) over either the medial or the right lateral cerebellum using frequencies of 1 and 10 Hz. Motor cortex excitability was assessed before and after the intervention by paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Results: Depending on stimulation frequency, cerebellar rTMS differentially modified intracortical inhibition. Low frequency rTMS increased short intracortical inhibition (SICI), whereas high frequency rTMS had no significant effect on SICI.
Conclusions: These results suggest that rTMS over the cerebellum can modulate cerebello-thalamocortical pathways in a frequency-specific manner.