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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 51 (2009) 2, 97 - 105

Essay

Transcranial magnetic stimulation and cerebral physiology in psychiatric disorders

D.J.L.G. Schutter

summary
background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (tms) is a technique that is being used increasingly to investigate the biological precursors of psychiatric disorders.
aim To survey the current knowledge about deficits in local cerebral physiologic processes, as measured with tms methods in patients with obsessieve-compulsive disorder, depression, schizophrenia or attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.
method Aspects of cortical excitability and functional connectivity between the cerebral hemispheres as measured with single and paired-pulse tms were investigated by reviewing the scientific literature.
results
Obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, schizophrenia and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder are found to be associated with aberrant cerebral excitability and impaired functional connectivity.
conclusion tms is a suitable tool for examining unique aspects of brain physiology in individuals with a psychiatric condition.

keywords cerebral cortex, psychiatry, transcranial magnetic stimulation