Effects of brain polarization on reaction times and pinch force in chronic stroke.

BMC neuroscience, 2006; 7 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-7-73

Authors: Hummel Friedhelm C, Voller Bernhard, Celnik Pablo, Floel Agnes, Giraux Pascal et al.(2)

Affiliation: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. f.hummel@uke.uni-hamburg.de <f.hummel@uke.uni-hamburg.de>

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous studies showed that anodal transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) applied to the primary motor cortex of the affected hemisphere (M1affected hemisphere) after subcortical stroke transiently improves performance of complex tasks that mimic activities of daily living (ADL). It is not known if relatively simpler motor tasks are similarly affected. Here we tested the effects of tDCS on pinch force (PF) and simple reaction time (RT) tasks in patients with chronic stroke in a double-blind cross-over Sham-controlled experimental design.
RESULTS: Anodal tDCS shortened reaction times and improved pinch force in the paretic hand relative to Sham stimulation, an effect present in patients with higher impairment.
CONCLUSION: tDCS of M1affected hemisphere can modulate performance of motor tasks simpler than those previously studied, a finding that could potentially benefit patients with relatively higher impairment levels.

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