Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Poststroke Motor Recovery: Challenges and Opportunities

PM R. 2018 Sep;10(9 Suppl 2):S157-S164. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2018.04.012.


There has been a renewed research interest in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as an adjunctive tool for poststroke motor recovery as it has a neuro-modulatory effect on the human cortex. However, there are barriers towards its successful application in motor recovery as several scientific issues remain unresolved, including device-related issues (ie, dose-response relationship, safety and tolerability concerns, interhemispheric imbalance model, and choice of montage) and clinical trial-related issues (ie, patient selection, timing of study, and choice of outcomes). This narrative review examines and discusses the existing challenges in using tDCS as a brain modulation tool in facilitating recovery after stroke. Potential solutions pertinent to using tDCS with the goal of harnessing the brains plasticity are proposed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation / methods*