Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation Combined with Attention to the Paretic Hand Improves Hand Performance in Stroke Patients: A Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Study
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether anodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) combined with attention to the paretic hand can improve hand performance in stoke patients. Eight chronic stroke patients participated in the double-blind, crossover, sham-controlled study. There were three intervention conditions: (1) anodal tDCS was applied over the hand motor cortex (M1) in the affected hemisphere when the patients paid attention to their paretic hands; (2) anodal tDCS was applied without the patients’ attention to the hand; (3) attention was paid to the hand without real tDCS. The task performance of the upper-limb motor function one week after the interventions was significantly better in the combined tDCS and attention condition than in the tDCS only condition. We conclude that tDCS over the M1 in conjunction with attention to the paretic hand in stroke patients improves the performance of the hand.
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