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Transcranial direct current stimulation facilitates motor learning post-stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Kang, N and Summers, JJ and Caraugh, JH, Transcranial direct current stimulation facilitates motor learning post-stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 87 pp. 345-355. ISSN 0022-3050 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1136/jnnp-2015-311242


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an attractive protocol for stroke motor recovery. The current systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of tDCS on motor learning post-stroke. Specifically, we determined long-term learning effects by examining motor improvements from baseline to at least 5 days after tDCS intervention and motor practise. 17 studies reported long-term retention testing (mean retention interval = 43.8 days; SD = 56.6 days) and qualified for inclusion in our meta-analysis. Assessing primary outcome measures for groups that received tDCS and motor practise versus sham control groups created 21 valid comparisons: (1) 16 clinical assessments and (2) 5 motor skill acquisition tests. A random effects model meta-analysis showed a significant overall effect size = 0.59 (p < 0.0001; low heterogeneity, T2 = 0.04; I2 = 22.75%; and high classic fail-safe N = 240). 4 moderator variable analyses revealed beneficial effects of tDCS on long-term motor learning: (1) stimulation protocols: anodal on the ipsilesional hemisphere, cathodal on the contralesional hemisphere, or bilateral; (2) recovery stage: subacute or chronic stroke; (3) stimulation timing: tDCS before or during motor practise; and (4) task-specific training or conventional rehabilitation protocols. This robust meta-analysis identified novel long-term motor learning effects with tDCS and motor practise post-stroke.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:meta-analysis, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), motor learning, stroke
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Summers, JJ (Professor Jeffery Summers)
ID Code:105089
Year Published:2016 (online first 2015)
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP130104317)
Web of Science® Times Cited:130
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-12-07
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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