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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Paired Associative Stimulation on Corticomotor Excitability in Chronic Smokers

School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Bentley WA 6102, Australia
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Liberal Arts, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka 804-8550, Japan
Department of Rehabilitation of Movement Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disabilities Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-0042, Japan
Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Komaba, Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(3), 62;
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
Chronic smoking has been shown to have deleterious effects on brain function and is an important risk factor for ischemic stroke. Reduced cortical excitability has been shown among chronic smokers compared with non-smokers to have a long-term effect and so far no study has assessed the effect of smoking on short-term motor learning. Paired associative stimulation (PAS) is a commonly used method for inducing changes in excitability of the motor cortex (M1) in a way that simulates short-term motor learning. This study employed PAS to investigate the effect of chronic cigarette smoking on plasticity of M1. Stimulator output required to elicit a motor-evoked potential (MEP) of approximately 1 mV was similar between the groups prior to PAS. MEP response to single pulse stimuli increased in the control group and remained above baseline level for at least 30 min after the intervention, but not in the smokers who showed no significant increase in MEP size. The silent period was similar between groups at all time points of the experiment. This study suggests that chronic smoking may have a negative effect on the response to PAS and infers that chronic smoking may have a deleterious effect on the adaptability of M1. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcranial magnetic stimulation; paired associative stimulation; smoking; cotinine transcranial magnetic stimulation; paired associative stimulation; smoking; cotinine
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Lavender, A.P.; Obata, H.; Kawashima, N.; Nakazawa, K. Effect of Paired Associative Stimulation on Corticomotor Excitability in Chronic Smokers. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 62.

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