Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) modulates cerebellar activity and postural control. However, the effects of ctDCS on postural control learning and the mechanisms associated with these effects remain unclear. To examine the effects of single-session ctDCS on postural control learning and cerebellar brain inhibition (CBI) of the primary motor cortex in healthy individuals. In this triple-blind, sham-controlled study, 36 participants were allocated randomly to one of three groups: (1) anodal ctDCS group, (2) cathodal ctDCS group, and (3) sham ctDCS group. ctDCS (2 mA) was applied to the cerebellar brain for 20 min prior to six blocks of standing postural control training (each block consisted of five trials of a 30-s tracking task). CBI and corticospinal excitability of the tibialis anterior muscle were assessed at baseline, immediately after, 1 day after, and 7 days after training. Skill acquisition following training was significantly reduced in both the anodal and cathodal ctDCS groups compared with the sham ctDCS group. Changes in performance measured 1 day after and 7 days after training did not differ among the groups. In the anodal ctDCS group, CBI significantly increased after training, whereas corticospinal excitability decreased. Anodal ctDCS-induced CBI changes were correlated with the learning formation of postural control (r = 0.55, P = 0.04). Single-session anodal and cathodal ctDCS could suppress the skill acquisition of postural control in healthy individuals. The CBI changes induced by anodal ctDCS may affect the learning process of postural control.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology