A time-efficient method to determine parameters for measurement of short-interval intracortical inhibition for quadriceps
European Journal of Neuroscience
School of Medical and Health Sciences
© 2020 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd Short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) is often assessed to investigate inhibitory responses in the primary motor cortex representation of the quadriceps. However, determining appropriate paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) parameters to optimise SICI measurement can be impractical and time-consuming. This study investigated the intensity required to elicit maximal and 50% of maximum inhibition, and the test-retest reliability of a time-efficient approach for SICI measurement in quadriceps. Nine men and six women (26.6 ± 4.4 years) underwent single and paired-pulse (3-ms interval) TMS during 10% maximal voluntary isometric contraction on two days. Responses were recorded from vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF) and vastus medialis (VM). Test stimulus intensity was 140% of active motor threshold (AMT), and conditioning stimulus intensities (CSIs) ranged from 55% to 90% (eight intensities) of AMT (five test and five paired responses for each intensity). With CSI of 55% AMT, SICI was minimal (conditioned:test motor evoked potential [MEP]; 1.00, 0.96 and 0.95 for VL, RF and VM, respectively, < 1.00 indicates inhibition). Inhibition was greater at 70%–90% AMT for VL (0.67–0.85), at 75%–90% AMT for RF (0.70–0.78) and at 80%–90% AMT for VM (0.59–0.68) when compared to 55% AMT. The CSIs that elicited maximal and 50% maximal inhibition were ~84% and ~75% AMT, respectively. Reliability for individual CSIs ranged from “poor-to-good” for all muscles. SICI averaged across all CSIs demonstrated “moderate” reliability for VL and VM, but “poor” reliability for RF. This method may offer a practical approach to individualise and select CSIs to investigate quadriceps inhibitory networks in neurophysiological studies.