Magnetic stimulation of the human brain and peripheral nervous system: an introduction and the results of an initial clinical evaluation

Neurosurgery. 1987 Jan;20(1):100-9. doi: 10.1097/00006123-198701000-00024.


This report describes a novel method of stimulating the motor cortex and deep peripheral nerves in humans. The technique, developed in the Department of Medical Physics of Sheffield University, uses a large pulse of magnetic field to induce currents within the body and is painless. The basic principles of magnetic stimulation are described, and the technique is compared with conventional electrical stimulation. Safety aspects are discussed with reference to established clinical electrical and magnetic procedures. The results of the first clinical study using magnetic stimulation are described and show clear central motor pathway slowing in multiple sclerosis patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiopathology