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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses synaptic plasticity as a potential mechanism of enduring changes in function observed after relatively brief periods of repetitive (r)TMS. Plasticity is a use dependent enduring change in neural structure and function. The characteristics of plasticity are described in this article. Taking into account, the interactions between rTMS and pharmacological manipulations, this article explores how principles of synaptic plasticity may be exploited in the rational design of future rTMS paradigms in psychiatric disorders like major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance use disorders, schizophrenia etc. TMS is under active study in the treatment of a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Furthermore, this article discusses the implications for the interpretation of existing TMS literature and design of future interventions. TMS experiments of plasticity in the human motor cortex have been limited by the intensity and frequency of TMS protocols.

Keywords: synaptic plasticity, psychiatric disorders, neurological disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder

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