J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 52:1025-1032 doi:10.1136/jnnp.52.9.1025
  • Research Article

Magnetic stimulation over the spinal enlargements.

  1. Y Ugawa,
  2. J C Rothwell,
  3. B L Day,
  4. P D Thompson,
  5. C D Marsden
  1. MRC Human Movement and Balance Unit, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.


      Magnetic stimulation over the cervical and lumbar spinal enlargements was performed in 10 normal volunteers using a 9 cm diameter coil. Although the threshold and the amplitude of responses depended on the position of the coil and the direction of current flow within it, the latency was constant. The latencies obtained by magnetic stimulation were compatible with those obtained using high voltage electrical stimulation of the spinal nerve roots and always were shorter than the peripheral motor conduction time estimated by F-wave techniques. The site of activation by magnetic stimulation appears to be very similar to that stimulated by the high-voltage electrical method. Stimulation of descending motor tracts within the cord was not possible using the magnetic stimulator.