Transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients with transient ischemic attacks

Wen Jang Wong, Jen Tse Chen, Chuen Der Kao, Din E. Shan, Yung Yang Lin, Han Hwa Hu, Zin An Wu, Kwong Kum Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background. By definition, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) do not leave a neurological deficit beyond 24 hours after onset. However, a subgroup of TIA patients is characterized by persistent perfusion defect on single photon emission computed tomogram or infarction on brain computerized tomogram and magnetic resonance imaging. Here, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study whether TIA could produce persistent subclinical dysfunction for more than 24 hours. Methods. The study included 23 TIA patients who had the criteria of hand weakness as one of their clinical manifestations. TMS was done twice in each TIA patient. The first time was during the period of 24-48 hours after onset and the second 7 days after onset. We studied the cortical motor threshold, the latencies and the amplitudes of the motor evoked potentials, the central motor conduction time, and the cortical silent period at the intensity of 1.5 times motor threshold with maximal voluntary isometric contraction. The recording was at the first dorsal interosseous muscle. Results. There was no significant difference between the whole group of TIA patients and normal control. However, in the subgroup of TIA patients who had hand weakness more than 1 hour, they had increased motor threshold and prolonged cortical silent period during the first test. Both improved 1 week after onset. On the contrary, in TIA patients who had hand weakness less than 1 hour, their data were all within normal limits during the first and the second studies. Conclusions. Our results indicate that the motor function of TMS study will recover to full if the motor symptoms subside within 1 hour in TIA patients. Subclinical motor deficits may persist in TIA patients who have motor symptoms more than 1 hour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortical motor threshold
  • Cortical silent period
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Transient ischemic attacks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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