My Editor’s Choice

Professor Ulf Ziemann,Editor-in-Chief, Clinical Neurophysiology

Professor Ulf Ziemann
Editor-in-Chief, Clinical Neurophysiology

The Editor’s Choice—

The reliability of cerebellar brain inhibition

Clinical Neurophysiology Volume 132, Issue 10 (October 2021)

Mooney RA, Casamento-Moran A, Celnik PA (2021) The reliability of cerebellar brain inhibition Clinical Neurophysiology 132: 2365–2370

Connectivity between the cerebellum and primary motor cortex can be assessed by using dual-coil transcranial magnetic stimulation to measure cerebellar brain inhibition (CBI). CBI is interpreted as resulting from Purkinje cell activation by the conditioning TMS pulse, leading to inhibition of the deep cerebellar nuclei and, in turn, disfacilitation of their excitatory connections through thalamic nuclei to motor cortex. Impairment of CBI has been shown is cerebellar diseases with pathology of the efferent cerebello-dentate-thalamo-cortical pathway. Despite the broad use of CBI, its reliability has not been characterized. In this issue of Clinical Neurophysiology, Mooney and colleagues obtained CBI data from 83 healthy young adults and performed intra-day (separated by at least 30 min) and inter-day measurements (separated by at least 24 hours). They observed low measurement errors (~15%) for both intra- and inter-day CBI measurements, lower than those previously described for other paired-pulse TMS measures, such as intracortical inhibition (~20%). Therefore, findings support the utility of CBI measurements to track changes in cerebellum-motor cortex effective connectivity in longitudinal measurements. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings in healthy elderly subjects and clinical populations.

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