tDCS and walking training in Parkinson’s disease

Does transcranial Direct Current Stimulation have benefits over walking training in Parkinson's disease?

Over the past 30 years, the number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease globally has more than doubled to over 6 million. Advances in management have resulted in improvements in motor symptoms such as slow movement (bradykinesia) and rigidity.

However, as the disease progresses over time, people with Parkinson’s disease face impaired balance and walking limitations, which are associated with an increased risk of falls, social isolation and poorer quality of life.

The brain can be non-invasively stimulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The electrical current modulates cortical excitability, which could augment the effects of exercise-based rehabilitation.

This is an important finding as tDCS has been effective in some other neurological conditions and many clinicians have considered also using it in people with Parkinson's disease.

> From: Nascimento et al., J Physiother 67 (2021) 190-196 . All rights reserved to Australian Physiotherapy Association. Click here for the online summary.

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