Anodal tDCS applied during strength training enhances motor cortical plasticity

Hendy, Ashlee M. and Kidgell, Dawson J. 2013, Anodal tDCS applied during strength training enhances motor cortical plasticity, Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 45, no. 9, pp. 1721-1729, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828d2923.

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Title Anodal tDCS applied during strength training enhances motor cortical plasticity
Author(s) Hendy, Ashlee M.ORCID iD for Hendy, Ashlee M.
Kidgell, Dawson J.
Journal name Medicine and science in sports and exercise
Volume number 45
Issue number 9
Start page 1721
End page 1729
Total pages 9
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Publication date 2013-09
ISSN 0195-9131
Keyword(s) wrist extensors
cortical excitability
transcranial magnetic stimulation
Summary Purpose:
The objective of this study was to assess the effect of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) on voluntary dynamic strength and cortical plasticity when applied during a 3-wk strength training program for the wrist extensors.

Thirty right-handed participants were randomly allocated to the tDCS, sham, or control group. The tDCS and sham group underwent 3 wk of heavy-load strength training of the right wrist extensors, with 20 min of a-tDCS (2 mA) or sham tDCS applied during training (double blinded). Outcome measures included voluntary dynamic wrist extension strength, muscle thickness, corticospinal excitability, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), and silent period duration.

Maximal voluntary strength increased in both the tDCS and sham groups (14.89% and 11.17%, respectively, both P < 0.001). There was no difference in strength gain between the two groups (P = 0.229) and no change in muscle thickness (P = 0.15). The tDCS group demonstrated an increase in motor-evoked potential amplitude at 15%, 20%, and 25% above active motor threshold, which was accompanied by a decrease in SICI during 50% maximal voluntary isometric contraction and 20% maximal voluntary isometric contraction (all P < 0.05). Silent period decreased for both the tDCS and sham groups (P < 0.001).

The application of a-tDCS in combination with strength training of the wrist extensors in a healthy population did not provide additional benefit for voluntary dynamic strength gains when compared with standard strength training. However, strength training with a-tDCS appears to differentially modulate cortical plasticity via increases in corticospinal excitability and decreases in SICI, which did not occur following strength training alone
Language eng
DOI 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828d2923
Field of Research 110903 Central Nervous System
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
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Created: Tue, 28 May 2013, 10:44:34 EST by Jane Moschetti

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