Stroke is one of the main causes of death; stroke survivors may suffer several neurological impairments. They typically show pathological enhanced neural activity in a number of areas in both hemispheres. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can be applied to modify cerebral excitability, which has recently been applied for treatment of neurological disorders.
In this study, 100 patients with chronic ischemic stroke were divided into four groups of control, sham, anodic and cathodic tDCS (n=25). They took routine treatment, and received the same tDCS protocol (three times a week for 30 min per session during one month). Movement and cognitive functions were examined by the National Institute of Health Scale (NIHSS), Barthel index, and Rey test, before and 1 and 3 months after running tDCS sessions. The evaluation of changes in movements and cognitive functions in the chronic ischemic stroke patients was performed using anodic and cathodic tDCS. The results showed that 0-1 month after tDCS, 1-3 months after tDCS, and 0-3 months after tDCS, the NIHSS score and Barthel index significantly increased in the anodic with control, sham and cathodic groups, respectively (P<0.001). Moreover, the Rey test score in 0-1 month after tDCS and 0-3 months after tDCS significantly decreased in the cathodic with control, sham and anodic groups. In sum, anodic and cathodic tDCS have advantageous effects on movement and cognitive rehabilitation in stroke patients; however, this helpful effect was not equal in one domain. Future studies are needed to acknowledge this difference and represent precise treatment protocols.
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