Abstract We evaluated cortical excitability in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) using paired magnetic stimulation. This recent technique allows to study the cortical inhibition after motor evoked potential (MEP) and its modulation at different intensities of stimulation and interstimulus intervals (ISIs). At low stimulus intensity and at ISIs of 40–75 ms we observed, in PD patients, a greater test MEP inhibition, which might be due to a lower facilitatory effect of conditioning MEP on the motor cortex. At high stimulus intensity, in PD patients, a consistent inhibition of test MEP persisted and, at ISIs of 75–150 ms, it did not reach the amplitude of conditioning MEP as in normal subjects. Some clinical and neurophysiological features, like a silent period of shorter duration, demonstrated in PD patients a decrease of the inhibitory input to the motor cortex. On the contrary, the persistence of test-MEP inhibition at high stimulus intensity could also suggest a prevalence of inhibitory activity when an effective and phasic activation of the corticospinal system is required.