Skip to main content

Free Content Cortico-motoneurone excitability in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library


A disordered neuromotor control of pharynx muscles may play a role in the genesis of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS). This raises the possibility of a dysfunction of projections descending from the cortex to segmental nuclei. With single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) we studied the physiology of the corticospinal projection to hand muscles in seven OSAS patients. At first, we compared them with nine age- and sex-matched normal controls in the wake state. The only abnormality was a lengthening of the central silent period (P < 0.001). This supports a steady imbalance of motor cortical interneurone activities towards a state of enhanced inhibition. Then we looked at changes of the motor-evoked potential (MEP) size and latency, according to whether patients were awake, or in a non-rapid eye movement (REM) 2 sleep stage, or during a typical apnoea. During non-REM 2 sleep, the average MEP amplitude was significantly (P < 0.05) smaller than in the awake state. The MEP latency was, in turn, significantly longer (P < 0.05). During apnoeas, the MEP size decreased, and the latency increased further (P < 0.05), indicating an extra depression of the cortico-motoneuronal activity. All TMS changes were detected outside the pharyngeal district, suggesting a widespread dysfunction of the cortico-motoneuronal system in the OSAS, which is more evident during apnoeas.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: corticospinal excitability; obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome; pathophysiology; sleep; transcranial magnetic stimulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-06-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more