Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) modulates the primary motor cortex (M1) via cerebellar brain inhibition (CBI), which affects motor control in humans. However, the effects of ctDCS on motor control are inconsistent because of an incomplete understanding of the real-time changes in the M1 excitability that occur during ctDCS, which determines motor output under regulation by the cerebellum. This study investigated changes in corticospinal excitability and motor control during ctDCS in healthy individuals. In total, 37 healthy individuals participated in three separate experiments. ctDCS (2 mA) was applied to the cerebellar hemisphere during the rest condition or a pinch force–tracking task. Motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and the F-wave were assessed before, during, and after ctDCS, and pinch force control was assessed before and during ctDCS. The MEP amplitudes were significantly decreased during anodal ctDCS from 13 min after the onset of stimulation, whereas the F-wave was not changed. No significant changes in MEP amplitudes were observed during cathodal and sham ctDCS conditions. The MEP amplitudes were decreased during anodal ctDCS when combined with the pinch force–tracking task, and pinch force control was impaired during anodal ctDCS relative to sham ctDCS. The MEP amplitudes were not significantly changed before and after all ctDCS conditions. Motor cortical excitability was suppressed during anodal ctDCS, and motor control was unskilled during anodal ctDCS when combined with a motor task in healthy individuals. Our findings provided a basic understanding of the clinical application of ctDCS to neurorehabilitation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology