Background: Simultaneously modulating individual neural oscillation and cortical excitability may be important for enhancing communication between the primary motor cortex and spinal motor neurons, which plays a key role in motor control. However, it is unknown whether individualized beta-band oscillatory transcranial direct current stimulation (otDCS) enhances corticospinal oscillation and excitability.
Objective: This study investigated the effects of individualized beta-band otDCS on corticomuscular coherence (CMC) and corticospinal excitability in healthy individuals.
Methods: In total, 29 healthy volunteers participated in separate experiments. They received the following stimuli for 10 min on different days: 1) 2-mA otDCS with individualized beta-band frequencies, 2) 2-mA transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) with individualized beta-band frequencies, and 3) 2-mA transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The changes in CMC between the vertex and tibialis anterior (TA) muscle and TA muscle motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were assessed before and after (immediately, 10 min, and 20 min after) stimulation on different days. Additionally, 20-Hz otDCS for 10 min was applied to investigate the effects of a fixed beta-band frequency on CMC.
Results: otDCS significantly increased CMC and MEPs immediately after stimulation, whereas tACS and tDCS had no effects. There was a significant negative correlation between normalized CMC changes in response to 20-Hz otDCS and the numerical difference between the 20-Hz and individualized CMC peak frequency before the stimulation.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that simultaneous modulation of neural oscillation and cortical excitability is critical for enhancing corticospinal communication. Individualized otDCS holds potential as a useful method in the field of neurorehabilitation.
Keywords: Cortical plasticity; Depolarization; Endogenous neural oscillation; Leg motor area; Noninvasive brain stimulation; Spike-timing-dependent plasticity.
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