Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Moniek Munnike (Donders Series 168)

3 October 2014

Promotor: D.F. Stegeman, copromotor: dr. H.J. Schelhaas

Measuring and modulating the brain with non-invasive stimulation

The functioning of the human brain in health and disease is still largely unknown. The use of non-invasive brain stimulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, is of great interest and forms the basis of this thesis. Those techniques make it possible to investigate the normal and abnormal function of cortical brain areas. The overall goal of the studies in this thesis was to study the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for measuring and modulating corticospinal excitability and to investigate the possibility of therapeutic modulation of excitability in some neurological disorders. The results of the studies in patients with ALS suggest that it is possible to temporally decrease the over-excitability in ALS patients, but only by means of repeating the application over days. Furthermore, the role of cerebellum in patients with Parkinson’s Disease with freezing of upper limb movement was investigated. Finally, a guideline for the measurement of the damage of the nerve fibers was prepared. This helps to predictive the chances of recovery in patients who are poor or not able to use their hands after stroke.