Background: Theta burst stimulation (TBS) and quadripulse stimulation (QPS) are known to induce synaptic plasticity in humans. There have been no head-to-head comparisons of the efficacy and variability between TBS and QPS. Objective: To compare the efficacy and interindividual variability between the original TBS and QPS protocols. We hypothesized that QPS would be more effective and less variable than TBS. Methods: Forty-six healthy subjects participated in this study. Thirty subjects participated in the main comparison experiment, and the other sixteen subjects participated in the experiment to obtain natural variation in motor-evoked potentials. The facilitatory effects were compared between intermittent TBS (iTBS) and QPS5, and the inhibitory effects were compared between continuous TBS (cTBS) and QPS50. The motor-evoked potential amplitudes elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation over the primary motor cortex were measured before the intervention and every 5 min after the intervention for 1 h. To investigate the interindividual variability, the responder/nonresponder/opposite-responder rates were also analyzed. Results: The facilitatory effects of QPS5 were greater than those of iTBS, and the inhibitory effects of QPS50 were much stronger than those of cTBS. The responder rate of QPS was significantly higher than that of TBS. QPS had a smaller number of opposite responders than TBS. Conclusion: QPS is more effective and stable for synaptic plasticity induction than TBS.
- Interindividual variability
- Quadripulse stimulation
- Theta burst stimulation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation