Last updated on November 2019

Multicenter Study on the Efficacy of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) in Post-stroke Motor Recovery

Brief description of study

Several previous studies have used tDCS as a neuromodulation tool, showing improvements in several diseases (Lefaucheur et al., 2017). Based on these observations, it is believed that the use of tDCS in combination with specific motor training may provide the opportunity to induce behavioral improvements in patients with motor deficits. As shown in previous reports brain stimulation can, in fact, interact with the intrinsic ability of the brain to "repair" damaged brain functions, increasing the involvement of compensatory functional networks and thus inducing neuroplasticity. If these low-cost, easy-to-use stimulation techniques prove to be useful in improving motor deficits with long-term effects, the current study would open up new and interesting avenues in the field of neurorehabilitation. Given the potential long-lasting effects of tDCS, there is currently a growing interest in the clinical sector with the aim to reduce motor deficits in patients with brain injury. The most widely used protocols in stroke patients include the application of either anodal on the hypsilesional hemisphere or cathodal tDCS on the unaffected hemisphere (contralateral), so as to increase and decrease the excitability of the motor cortex, respectively (Nitsche and Paulus, 2001).

The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation in enhancing the functional recovery of the upper limb of stroke patients after three weeks of neuromotor training and subsequent follow-up. The secondary objective is to evaluate the treatment effects on balance, gait, motor dexterity and disability, besides the functional recovery of the lower limb.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT04166968

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