Prefrontal cortex transcranial magnetic stimulation does not change local diffusion: A magnetic resonance imaging study in patients with depression

Xing Bao Li, Ziad Nahas, Mikhael Lomarev, Stewart Denslow, Ananda Shastri, Daryl E. Bohning, Mark S. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether transcranial magnetic stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex produces pathologic changes or leakage of the blood-brain barrier in patients with depression by using apparent diffusion coefficient magnetic resonance imaging. Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a new technology for noninvasively stimulating the brain. It appears to be a relatively safe technique, with some important exceptions. Its neurobiologic mechanisms of action are poorly understood. One theory to explain its apparent antidepressant effects involves a potential change in local blood-brain barrier settings, allowing passage of peripheral substances directly into brain parenchyma. Knowing whether transcranial magnetic stimulation changes local brain diffusion is important as well from a safety perspective. To test whether transcranial magnetic stimulation changes local brain diffusion, we used apparent diffusion coefficient magnetic resonance imaging in depressed patients undergoing interleaved transcranial magnetic stimulation/functional magnetic resonance imaging over the left prefrontal cortex. Methods: Within a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner, 14 depressed patients were stimulated with a figure-eight transcranial magnetic stimulation coil over the left prefrontal cortex. Apparent diffusion coefficient magnetic resonance imaging was acquired before, and immediately after, 1 Hertz transcranial magnetic stimulation (147 stimuli) intermittently delivered at a motor threshold of more than 7.35 minutes. Phase maps of the transcranial magnetic stimulation magnetic fields were used to guide region-of-interest placement. Results: No significant qualitative apparent diffusion coefficient differences were observed before and after 1 Hertz transcranial magnetic stimulation underneath the coil. Conclusions: One Hertz transcranial magnetic stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as applied in this study did not result in pathologic changes or leakage of the blood-brain barrier in patients with depression. If prefrontal transcranial magnetic stimulation at these usage parameters changes local diffusion, it is not an obvious or large effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Neurology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Diffusion
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Safety
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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