Recently, surface electroencephalogram (EEG)-based brain-machine interfaces (BMI) have been used for people with disabilities. As a BMI signal source, event-related desynchronization of alpha-band EEG (8-13 Hz) during motor imagery (mu ERD), which is interpreted as desynchronized activities of the activated neurons, is commonly used. However, it is often difficult for patients with severe hemiparesis to produce mu ERD of sufficient strength to activate BMI. Therefore, whether it is possible to modulate mu ERD during motor imagery with anodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) was assessed in a severe left hemiparetic stroke patient. EEG was recorded over the primary motor cortex (M1), and mu ERD during finger flexion imagery was measured before and after a 5-day course of tDCS applied to M1. The ERD recorded over the affected M1 increased significantly after tDCS intervention. Anodal tDCS may increase motor cortex excitability and potentiate ERD during motor imagery in patients with severe hemiparetic stroke.
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