Cerebellar direct current stimulation enhances motor learning inolder adults

Robert M. Hardwick, Pablo A Celnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Developing novel approaches to combat age related declines in motor function is key to maintaining health and function in older adults, a subgroup of the population that is rapidly growing. Motor adaptation, a form of motor learning, has been shown to be impaired in healthy older subjects compared with their younger counterparts. Here, we tested whether excitatory anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the cerebellum could enhance adaptation in older subjects. Participants performed a "center-out" reaching task, adapting to the sudden introduction of a visual cursor rotation. Older participants receiving sham tDCS (mean age 56.3 ± 6.8years) were slower to adapt than younger participants (mean age 20.7 ± 2.1years). In contrast, older participants who received anodal tDCS (mean age 59.6 ± 8.1years) adapted faster, with a rate that was similar to younger subjects. We conclude that cerebellar anodal tDCS enhances motor adaptation in older individuals. Our results highlight the efficacy of the novel approach of using cerebellar tDCS to combat age related deficits in motor learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2217-2221
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume35
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Learning
Cerebellum
Healthy Volunteers
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Health
Population

Keywords

  • Brain stimulation
  • Learning
  • Motor control
  • Older subjects
  • Rehabilitation
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Cerebellar direct current stimulation enhances motor learning inolder adults. / Hardwick, Robert M.; Celnik, Pablo A.

In: Neurobiology of Aging, Vol. 35, No. 10, 2014, p. 2217-2221.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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