Author(s): Boggio PS, Nunes A, Rigonatti SP, Nitsche MA, PascualLeone A,
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Abstract PURPOSE: Recent evidence has suggested that a simple technique of noninvasive brain stimulation - transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) - is associated with a significant motor function improvement in stroke patients. METHODS: We tested the motor performance improvement in stroke patients following 4 weekly sessions of sham, anodal- and cathodal tDCS (experiment 1) and the effects of 5 consecutive daily sessions of cathodal tDCS (experiment 2). A blinded rater evaluated motor function using the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test. RESULTS: There was a significant main effect of stimulation condition (p=0.009) in experiment 1. Furthermore there was a significant motor function improvement after either cathodal tDCS of the unaffected hemisphere (p=0.016) or anodal tDCS of the affected hemisphere (p=0.046) when compared to sham tDCS. There was no cumulative effect associated with weekly sessions of tDCS, however consecutive daily sessions of tDCS (experiment 2) were associated with a significant effect on time (p< 0.0001) that lasted for 2 weeks after treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of our study support previous research showing that tDCS is significantly associated with motor function improvement in stroke patients; and support that consecutive daily sessions of tDCS might increase its behavioral effects. Because the technique of tDCS is simple, safe and non-expensive; our findings support further research on the use of this technique for the rehabilitation of patients with stroke.
This article was published in Restor Neurol Neurosci
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation