Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 182 (2), 281-7

Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Excitability of the Leg Motor Cortex

Affiliations

Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Excitability of the Leg Motor Cortex

Dean T Jeffery et al. Exp Brain Res.

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human motor cortex at an intensity of 1 mA has been shown to be efficacious in increasing (via anodal tDCS) or decreasing (via cathodal tDCS) the excitability of corticospinal projections to muscles of the hand. In this study, we examined whether tDCS at currents of 2 mA could effect similar changes in the excitability of deeper cortical structures that innervate muscles of the lower leg. Similar to the hand area, 10 min of stimulation with the anode over the leg area of the motor cortex increased the excitability of corticospinal tract projections to the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle, as reflected by an increase in the amplitude of the motor evoked potentials (MEPs) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation. MEP amplitudes recorded at rest and during a background contraction were increased following anodal tDCS and remained elevated at 60 min compared to baseline values by 59 and 35%, respectively. However, in contrast to the hand, hyperpolarizing cathodal stimulation at equivalent currents had minimal effect on the amplitude of the MEPs recorded at rest or during background contraction of the TA muscle. These results suggest that it is more difficult to suppress the excitability of the leg motor cortex with cathodal tDCS than the hand area of the motor cortex.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 48 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. J Cogn Neurosci. 2003 May 15;15(4):619-26 - PubMed
    1. J Neurophysiol. 2005 Oct;94(4):2844-55 - PubMed
    1. Neurosurgery. 1987 Jan;20(1):143-7 - PubMed
    1. J Physiol. 2005 Oct 1;568(Pt 1):291-303 - PubMed
    1. Neurology. 2001 Nov 27;57(10):1899-901 - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback