Paired-Associative Stimulation-Induced Long-term Potentiation-Like Motor Cortex Plasticity in Healthy Adolescents

Jonathan C. Lee, Paul E. Croarkin, Stephanie H. Ameis, Yinming Sun, Daniel M. Blumberger, Tarek K. Rajji, Zafiris J. Daskalakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using paired-associative stimulation (PAS) to study excitatory and inhibitory plasticity in adolescents while examining variables that may moderate plasticity (such as sex and environment). Methods: We recruited 34 healthy adolescents (aged 13–19, 13 males, 21 females). To evaluate excitatory plasticity, we compared mean motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) before and after PAS at 0, 15, and 30 min. To evaluate inhibitory plasticity, we evaluated the cortical silent period (CSP) elicited by single-pulse TMS in the contracted hand before and after PAS at 0, 15, and 30 min. Results: All participants completed PAS procedures. No adverse events occurred. PAS was well tolerated. PAS-induced significant increases in the ratio of post-PAS MEP to pre-PAS MEP amplitudes (p < 0.01) at all post-PAS intervals. Neither socioeconomic status nor sex was associated with post-PAS MEP changes. PAS induced significant CSP lengthening in males but not females. Conclusion: PAS is a feasible, safe, and well-tolerated index of adolescent motor cortical plasticity. Gender may influence PAS-induced changes in cortical inhibition. PAS is safe and well tolerated by healthy adolescents and may be a novel tool with which to study adolescent neuroplasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number95
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - May 29 2017


  • adolescent psychiatry
  • cortical silent period
  • developmental neuroplasticity
  • motor cortical plasticity
  • motor-evoked potentials
  • paired-associative stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Paired-Associative Stimulation-Induced Long-term Potentiation-Like Motor Cortex Plasticity in Healthy Adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this