Electrophysiological Signatures of Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Related to rTMS Treatment for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

Brain TopographyVolume 31, Issue 6, pp 1047–1058


To determine intrinsic functional connectivity (IFC) related to symptom changes induced by rTMS in mal de debarquement syndrome (MdDS), a motion perceptual disorder induced by entrainment to oscillating motion. Twenty right-handed women (mean age: 52.9 ± 12.6 years; mean duration illness: 35.2 ± 24.2 months) with MdDS received five sessions of rTMS (1 Hz right DLPFC, 10 Hz left DLPFC) over consecutive days. High-density (128-channel) resting-state EEG were recorded prior to and following treatment sessions and analyzed using a group-level independent component (IC) analysis. IFC between 19 ICs was quantified by inter-IC phase coherence (ICPC) in six frequency bands (delta, theta, low alpha, high alpha, beta, gamma). Correlational analyses between IFCs and symptoms were performed. Symptom improvement after rTMS was significantly correlated with (1) an increase in low alpha band (8–10 Hz) IFC but a decrease of IFC in all other bands, and (2) high baseline IFC in the high alpha (11–13 Hz) and beta bands (14–30 Hz). Most treatment related IFC changes occurred between frontal and parietal regions with a linear association between the degree of symptom improvement and the number of coherent IFC changes. Frequency band and region specific IFC changes correlate with and can predict symptom changes induced by rTMS over DLPFC in MdDS. MdDS symptom response correlates with high baseline IFC in most frequency bands. Treatment induced increase in long-range low alpha IFC and decreases in IFC in other bands as well as the proportion of coherent IFC changes correlate with symptom reduction.

Keywords: MdDS treatment, rTMS, Mal de debarquement syndrome, Intrinsic functional connectivity, EEG, Inter-independent component phase coherence 

Read the full article https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10548-018-0671-6