Objective: Transcranial static magnetic field stimulation has recently been demonstrated to modulate cortical excitability. In the present study, we investigated the effect of transspinal static magnetic field stimulation (tsSMS) on excitability of the corticospinal tract. Methods: A compact magnet for tsSMS (0.45 Tesla) or a stainless steel cylinder for sham stimulation was positioned over the neck (C8 level) of 24 able-bodied subjects for 15 min. Using 120% of the resting motor threshold transcranial magnetic stimulation intensity, motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were measured from the first digital interosseous muscle before, during, and after the tsSMS or sham intervention. Results: Compared with baseline MEP amplitudes were decreased during tsSMS, but not during sham stimulation. Additionally, during the intervention, MEP amplitudes were lower with tsSMS than sham stimulation, although these effects did not last after the intervention ceased. Conclusions: The results suggest that static magnetic field stimulation of the spinal cord by a compact magnet can reduce the excitability of the corticospinal tract. Significance: Transspinal static magnetic field stimulation may be a new non-invasive neuromodulatory tool for spinal cord stimulation. Its suppressive effect may be applied to patients who have pathological hyperexcitability of the spinal neural network.
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