Background and objective: Numerous studies have highlighted the possibility of modulating the excitability of cerebellar circuits using transcranial direct current stimulation. The present study investigated whether a single session of cerebellar anodal transcranial direct current stimulation could improve symptoms in patients with ataxia.
Methods: Nineteen patients with ataxia underwent a clinical and functional evaluation pre- and post-double-blind, randomized, sham, or anodal transcranial direct current stimulation.
Results: There was a significant interaction between treatment and time on the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia, on the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale, on the 9-Hole Peg Test, and on the 8-Meter Walking Time (P < 0.001). At the end of the sessions, all performance scores were significantly different in the sham trial, compared to the intervention trial.
Conclusions: A single session of anodal cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation can transiently improve symptoms in patients with ataxia and might represent a promising tool for future rehabilitative approaches.
Keywords: cerebellar ataxia; cerebellar stimulation; transcranial direct current stimulation.
© 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.