Analysis of motor pathway involvement in konzo using transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation

Desire Tshala-Katumbay, Karin Edebol Eeg-Olofsson, Theodore Kazadi-Kayembe, Thorkild Tylleskär, Peo Fällmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


To elucidate the involvement of motor pathways in konzo, 21 konzo subjects (mean age 22 years) underwent transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) in 1998. Fourteen konzo subjects (mean age 21 years) underwent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in 2000. Three subjects underwent both TES and TMS. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded in the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle with TES, and in the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles with TMS. APB-MEPs were normal in 2 of 21 subjects and absent in 9; central conduction time (CCT) was prolonged in 10. Resting ADM-MEPs were absent in 9 of 14 subjects with clinically preserved upper limbs. Among these nine, seven subjects responded after facilitation. Most subjects (13 of 14) failed to show TA-MEPs. Of the subjects who underwent both types of stimulation, one had normal TES-MEP but abnormal ADM-MEP with TMS. These findings suggest involvement of both corticomotoneurons and motor descending pathways in konzo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Central conduction time
  • Cortical excitability
  • Konzo
  • Transcranial stimulation
  • Upper motor neuron disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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