Multifocal Noninvasive Magnetic Stimulation of the Primary Motor Cortex in Type 1 Myotonic Dystrophy -A Proof of Concept Pilot Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Repeated neuromuscular electrical stimulation in type 1 Myotonic Dystrophy (DM1) has previously been shown to cause an increase in strength and a decrease in hyperexcitability of the tibialis anterior muscle. OBJECTIVE: In this proof-of-principle study our objective was to test the hypothesis that noninvasive repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary motor cortex (M1) with a new portable wearable multifocal stimulator causes improvement in muscle function in DM1 patients. METHODS: We performed repetitive stimulation of M1, localized by magnetic resonance imaging, with a newly developed Transcranial Rotating Permanent Magnet Stimulator (TRPMS). Using a randomized within-patient placebo-controlled double-blind TRPMS protocol, we performed unilateral active stimulation along with contralateral sham stimulation every weekday for two weeks in 6 adults. Methods for evaluation of muscle function involved electromyography (EMG), hand dynamometry and clinical assessment using the Medical Research Council scale. RESULTS: All participants tolerated the treatment well. While there were no significant changes clinically, EMG showed significant improvement in nerve stimulus-evoked compound muscle action potential amplitude of the first dorsal interosseous muscle and a similar but non-significant trend in the trapezius muscle, after a short exercise test, with active but not sham stimulation. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that two-week repeated multifocal cortical stimulation with a new wearable transcranial magnetic stimulator can be safely conducted in DM1 patients to investigate potential improvement of muscle strength and activity. The results obtained, if confirmed and extended by future safety and efficacy trials with larger patient samples, could offer a potential supportive TRPMS treatment in DM1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-972
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neuromuscular diseases
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Motor cortex stimulation
  • functional restoration
  • muscle strengthening
  • rehabilitation
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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