Paired-associative stimulation can modulate muscle fatigue induced motor cortex excitability changes

S. Milanović, S. R. Filipović, S. Blesić, T. V. Ilić, S. Dhanasekaran, M. Ljubisavljević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine whether the changes of the motor cortex excitability induced by muscle fatigue could be affected by prior or subsequent intervention protocol supposed to induce opposing excitability changes. For this purpose we used paired associative stimulation (PAS) method, where peripheral nerve stimuli were associated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex at a fixed interstimulus interval of 25. ms. The PAS protocol used is known to produce a long lasting, long-term potentiation (LTP) like change of cortical plasticity manifested by significant increase in motor evoked potentials (MEPs) amplitude. In this study, we confirmed significant MEP size reduction following fatigue, which had been already reported in the literature. When PAS was applied either immediately before or after muscle fatigue protocol, the excitability changes were largely occluded and MEP sizes remained close to baseline levels. However, in spite of the effects on cortical excitability, conditioning with PAS did not cause any change in target fatigue measure, the endurance point, which remained the same as when fatiguing protocol was applied alone. The present results demonstrate that fatigue-related changes in cortical excitability can be modulated by either prior or subsequent excitability promoting activity. They also suggest that muscle fatigue associated changes in motor cortical excitability probably represent non-specific activity-related plasticity, rather than a direct expression of the so-called central fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 30 2011


  • Brain plasticity
  • Motor cortex
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Paired associative stimulation
  • TMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Paired-associative stimulation can modulate muscle fatigue induced motor cortex excitability changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this