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tDCS-Enhanced Consolidation of Writing Skills and Its Associations With Cortical Excitability in Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Study

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Background. Learning processes of writing skills involve the re-engagement of previously established motor programs affected by Parkinson disease (PD). To counteract the known problems with consolidation in PD, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could be imperative to achieve a lasting regeneration of habitual motor skills. Objective. To examine tDCS-enhanced learning of writing and explore alterations in cortical excitability after stimulation in PD compared with healthy controls (HCs). Methods. Ten patients and 10 HCs received 2 training sessions combined with 20 minutes of 1-mA anodal tDCS or sham on the left primary motor cortex in a randomized crossover design. Writing skills on a tablet and paper were assessed at baseline, after training, and after 1 week of follow-up. Before and immediately after the intervention, cortical excitability and inhibition were measured during rest and activity. Results. Writing amplitude and velocity improved when practice was tDCS supplemented compared with sham in PD. Benefits were sustained at retention for trained and untrained tasks on the tablet as well as for writing on paper. No improvements were found for HCs. Reduced resting motor thresholds after tDCS indicated tDCS-enhanced cortical excitability. Additionally, increments in motor-evoked potential amplitudes correlated with improved writing in PD, whereas HCs showed the opposite pattern. Conclusion. Our results endorse the usefulness of tDCS-boosted learning in PD, at least when applied to improving writing capacity. Although further confirmatory studies are needed, these novel findings are striking because tDCS-mediated consolidation was found for learning a motor task directly affected by PD.
Tijdschrift: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
ISSN: 1545-9683
Issue: 12
Volume: 33
Pagina's: 1050 - 1060
Jaar van publicatie:2019
BOF-publication weight:3
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education