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Non-invasive brain stimulation
Leuk, J. S.-P., Yow, K.-E., Tan, C. Z.-X., Hendy, A. M., Tan, M. K.-W., Ng, T. H.-B., & Teo, W.-P. (2022). A meta-analytical review of transcranial direct current stimulation parameters on upper limb motor learning in healthy older adults and people with Parkinson's disease. Reviews in the Neurosciences. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2022-0073
Reviews in the Neurosciences
Current literature lacks consolidated evidence for the impact of stimulation parameters on the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in enhancing upper limb motor learning. Hence, we aim to synthesise available methodologies and results to guide future research on the usage of tDCS on upper limb motor learning, specifically in older adults and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Thirty-two studies (Healthy older adults, N = 526, M = 67.25, SD = 4.30 years; PD, N = 216, M = 66.62, SD = 6.25 years) were included in the meta-analysis. All included studies consisted of active and sham protocols. Random effect meta-analyses were conducted for (i) subjects (healthy older adults and PD); (ii) intensity (1.0, 1.5, 2 mA); (iii) electrode montage (unilateral anodal, bilateral anodal, unilateral cathodal); (iv) stimulation site (cerebellum, frontal, motor, premotor, SMA, somatosensory); (v) protocol (online, offline). Significant tDCS effect on motor learning was reported for both populations, intensity 1.0 and 2.0 mA, unilateral anodal and cathodal stimulation, stimulation site of the motor and premotor cortex, and both online and offline protocols. Regression showed no significant relationship between tDCS effects and density. The efficacy of tDCS is also not affected by the number of sessions. However, studies that reported only single session tDCS found significant negative association between duration with motor learning outcomes. Our findings suggest that different stimulation parameters enhanced upper limb motor learning in older adults and PD. Future research should combine tDCS with neuroimaging techniques to help with optimisation of the stimulation parameters, considering the type of task and population.
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