alexa Safety of different inter-train intervals for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and recommendations for safe ranges of stimulation parameters.
Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Author(s): Chen R

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Induction of a seizure in a normal subject with trains of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied in close succession suggested that short inter-train intervals, a parameter not considered in our previous safety studies, may not be safe. Here, we evaluate the safety of different inter-train intervals for rTMS in 10 healthy volunteers. Ten rTMS trains at 20 Hz for 1.6 s and a stimulus intensity of 110% of motor threshold (MT) were found to be safe at the inter-train interval of 5 s. However, inter-train intervals of 1 s or less were unsafe for trains of 20 Hz for 1.6 s and stimulus intensities higher than 100% of MT. Based on these results, we propose safety guidelines for inter-train intervals at different stimulus intensities. We also analyzed the stimulus parameters, used in 3 studies, that led to seizures in normal subjects. One seizure was due to short inter-train intervals, one was likely related to intense individual rTMS trains close to the limit of our previous safety recommendations, and one was likely due to a combination of these two factors. To provide an additional safety margin, we suggest reducing the duration for individual rTMS trains by 25% from our previous recommendations. Updated safety tables currently in use at our institution are provided.

This article was published in Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

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