Safety and feasibility of transcranial direct current stimulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–a pilot study with a single subject experimental design

Sangeetha Madhavan*, Anjali Sivaramakrishnan, Sam Bond, Qin Li Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been explored as a neuromodulatory tool to prime motor function in several neurological disorders. Studies using tDCS in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are limited. We investigated the safety, feasibility and effects of long-term tDCS in an individual with ALS. Methods: A 36-year-old male diagnosed with clinically definite ALS received 12 sessions each of anodal, sham, and cathodal tDCS. Outcome measures included disease progression (revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R)), clinical measures of endurance and mobility, and corticomotor excitability. Results: No adverse events or change in disease progression were noticed during the study. Small improvement in gait speed (15% increase) was noticed with anodal tDCS only. Conclusions: This case study demonstrates the safety and feasibility of long-term facilitatory and inhibitory tDCS on a single participant with ALS. This study serves as a guideline for implementing tDCS in future ALS trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-463
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cortical excitability
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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