Author(s): Cruccu G, Berardelli A, Inghilleri M, Manfredi M
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Transcranial stimulation (TCS) in intact human subjects was used to investigate the corticobulbar projections and the functional organization of the trigeminal motor system. Both electrical (with the anode overlying the face area of the motor cortex) and magnetic TCS (with the coil at the vertex) excite the upper motoneurons projecting to the trigeminal motor nucleus, evoking motor potentials (C-MEPs) in the jaw-closing and suprahyoid muscles, but only during voluntary contraction. At least 30\% of jaw-closing motoneurons are reached by direct fast-conducting corticobulbar fibres; these projections are mainly crossed. Suprahyoid motoneurons are also reached by fast-conducting corticobulbar fibres; these projections are probably bilateral. In the masseter, electrical TCS also evokes an ipsilateral motor response (R-MEP), followed by a later wave (U), and bilateral inhibitory periods. The R-MEP is secondary to excitation of the motor trigeminal root; the U wave probably results from the simultaneous excitation of Ia afferents in the root and ipsilaterally projecting corticofugal fibres; the inhibitory periods are largely due to activation of exteroceptive afferents in the root. Magnetic TCS, avoiding spread of current to the trigeminal root, evokes C-MEPs but not R-MEPs or U waves. The masseter inhibitory period after magnetic TCS may be due to excitation of corticofugal inhibitory fibres and to mechanical activation of Golgi tendon organs.
This article was published in Brain
and referenced in Dentistry