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Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over S1 differentially modulates proprioceptive accuracy in young and old adults

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Muffel,  Toni
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;
Center for Stroke Research, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany;

Kirsch,  Franziska
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Institute of Psychology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany;

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Shih,  Pei-Cheng
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany;

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Kalloch,  Benjamin
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany;
Faculty of Computer Science and Media, University of Applied Sciences, Leipzig, Germany;

Schaumberg,  Sara
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;
Center for Stroke Research, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany;
International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany;

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Sehm,  Bernhard
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Department of Neurology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany;

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Citation

Muffel, T., Kirsch, F., Shih, P.-C., Kalloch, B., Schaumberg, S., Villringer, A., et al. (2019). Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over S1 differentially modulates proprioceptive accuracy in young and old adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 11: 264. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2019.00264.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-C551-2
Abstract
Background: Proprioception is a prerequisite for successful motor control but declines throughout the lifespan. Brain stimulation techniques such as anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) are capable of enhancing sensorimotor performance across different tasks and age groups. Despite such growing evidence for a restorative potential of tDCS, its impact on proprioceptive accuracy has not been studied in detail yet. Objective: This study investigated online effects of a-tDCS over S1 on proprioceptive accuracy in young (YA) and old healthy adults (OA). Methods: The effect of 15 min of a-tDCS vs. sham on proprioceptive accuracy was assessed in a cross-over, double blind experiment in both age groups. Performance changes were tested using an arm position matching task in a robotic environment. Electrical field (EF) strengths in the target area S1 and control areas were assessed based on individualized simulations. Results: a-tDCS elicited differential changes in proprioceptive accuracy and EF strengths in the two groups: while YA showed a slight improvement, OA exhibited a decrease in performance during a-tDCS. Stronger EF were induced in target S1 and control areas in the YA group. However, no relationship between EF strength and performance change was found. Conclusion: a-tDCS over S1 elicits opposing effects on proprioceptive accuracy as a function of age, a result that is important for future studies investigating the restorative potential of a-tDCS in healthy aging and in the rehabilitation of neurological diseases that occur at advanced age. Modeling approaches could help elucidate the relationship between tDCS protocols, brain structure and performance modulation.