Transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance dual-task gait training in Parkinson's disease: a pilot RCT

Schabrun, Siobhan M., Lamont, Robyn M. and Brauer, Sandra G. (2016) Transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance dual-task gait training in Parkinson's disease: a pilot RCT. PLoS ONE, 11 6: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158497

Author Schabrun, Siobhan M.
Lamont, Robyn M.
Brauer, Sandra G.
Title Transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance dual-task gait training in Parkinson's disease: a pilot RCT
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2016-06-30
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0158497
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 6
Total pages 14
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To investigate the feasibility and safety of a combined anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and dual task gait training intervention in people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and to provide data to support a sample size calculation for a fully powered trial should trends of effectiveness be present.

Design: A pilot, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled parallel group trial with 12 week follow-up.

Setting: A university physiotherapy department.

Interventions: Sixteen participants diagnosed with PD received nine dual task gait training sessions over 3 weeks. Participants were randomized to receive either active or sham tDCS applied for the first 20 minutes of each session.

Main Measures: The primary outcome was gait speed while undertaking concurrent cognitive tasks (word lists, counting, conversation). Secondary measures included step length, cadence, Timed Up and Go, bradykinesia and motor speed.

Results: Gait speed, step length and cadence improved in both groups, under all dual task conditions. This effect was maintained at follow-up. There was no difference between the active and sham tDCS groups. Time taken to perform the TUGwords also improved, with no difference between groups. The active tDCS group did however increase their correct cognitive response rate during the TUGwords and TUGcount . Bradykinesia improved after training in both groups.

Conclusion: Three weeks of dual task gait training resulted in improved gait under dual task conditions, and bradykinesia, immediately following training and at 12 weeks follow-up. The only parameter enhanced by tDCS was the number of correct responses while performing the dual task TUG. tDCS applied to M1 may not be an effective adjunct to dual task gait training in PD.

Trial Registration: Australia-New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12613001093774.
Keyword Parkinson’s disease (PD)
Neurological disorder
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Gait training
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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