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Supplementary motor area—primary motor cortex facilitation in younger but not older adults

Green, P.E., Ridding, M.C., Hill, K.D., Semmler, J.G., Drummond, P.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3711-8737 and Vallence, A.M.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-6366 (2018) Supplementary motor area—primary motor cortex facilitation in younger but not older adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 64 . pp. 85-91.

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Growing evidence implicates a decline in white matter integrity in the age-related decline in motor control. Functional neuroimaging studies show significant associations between functional connectivity in the cortical motor network, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), and motor performance. Dual-coil transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies show facilitatory connections between SMA and the primary motor cortex (M1) in younger adults. Here, we investigated whether SMA—M1 facilitation is affected by age, and whether the strength of SMA—M1 facilitation is associated with bilateral motor control. Dual-coil TMS was used to measure SMA—M1 connectivity in younger (N=20) and older adults (N=18), and bilateral motor control was measured with the assembly sub-test of the Purdue Pegboard and clinical measures of dynamic balance. SMA—M1 facilitation was seen in younger but not older adults, and a significant positive association was found between SMA—M1 facilitation and bimanual performance. These results show that SMA—M1 facilitation is reduced in older adults compared to younger adults, and provide evidence of the functional importance of SMA—M1 facilitation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Elsevier Inc
Copyright: © 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc.
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