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Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning

Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning
Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning

Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39) and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33). Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover, synaptic plasticity appears to be related to symptom severity.

Adult, Case-Control Studies, Electric Stimulation, Electromyography, Evoked Potentials, Motor, Female, Humans, Learning, Long-Term Potentiation, Male, Motor Cortex, Motor Skills, Neuronal Plasticity, Psychomotor Performance, Tics, Tourette Syndrome, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Journal Article
1932-6203
Brandt, Valerie Cathérine
e41f5832-70e4-407d-8a15-85b861761656
Niessen, Eva
2f834aea-124d-4a77-80fd-e4d49c06d2b8
Ganos, Christos
b79910d0-7d4b-4d5a-a051-b82cfb64dcea
Kahl, Ursula
8eb7f05d-54f9-4825-8756-dc4b3004405e
Bäumer, Tobias
90576a00-054a-4ab7-952e-d50b175f4cec
Münchau, Alexander
3254c1b7-9fd4-417d-96e2-b7bc1fe3c736
Brandt, Valerie Cathérine
e41f5832-70e4-407d-8a15-85b861761656
Niessen, Eva
2f834aea-124d-4a77-80fd-e4d49c06d2b8
Ganos, Christos
b79910d0-7d4b-4d5a-a051-b82cfb64dcea
Kahl, Ursula
8eb7f05d-54f9-4825-8756-dc4b3004405e
Bäumer, Tobias
90576a00-054a-4ab7-952e-d50b175f4cec
Münchau, Alexander
3254c1b7-9fd4-417d-96e2-b7bc1fe3c736

Brandt, Valerie Cathérine, Niessen, Eva, Ganos, Christos, Kahl, Ursula, Bäumer, Tobias and Münchau, Alexander (2014) Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning. PLoS ONE, 9 (5). (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098417).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39) and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33). Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover, synaptic plasticity appears to be related to symptom severity.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 May 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 May 2014
Keywords: Adult, Case-Control Studies, Electric Stimulation, Electromyography, Evoked Potentials, Motor, Female, Humans, Learning, Long-Term Potentiation, Male, Motor Cortex, Motor Skills, Neuronal Plasticity, Psychomotor Performance, Tics, Tourette Syndrome, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Journal Article

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413290
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413290
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: a3f6d315-0485-45e0-b593-d427e64fd0ca

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Date deposited: 18 Aug 2017 16:32
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:11

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