Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Deep Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Dentate Nucleus to Facilitate Standing Balance in Chronic Stroke Survivors

Version 1 : Received: 16 December 2019 / Approved: 18 December 2019 / Online: 18 December 2019 (04:20:33 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Brain Sci. 2020
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci10020094


Objective: Cerebrovascular accidents are the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability worldwide. We hypothesized that cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) of the dentate nuclei and the lower-limb representations in the cerebellum can improve standing balance functional reach in chronic (> 6 months’ post-stroke) stroke survivors. Materials and Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) based subject-specific electric field was computed across 10 stroke survivors and one healthy MRI template to find an optimal bipolar bilateral ctDCS montage to target dentate nuclei and lower-limb representations (lobules VII-IX). Then, in a repeated-measure crossover study on 5 stroke survivors, we compared 15minutes of 2mA ctDCS based on the effects on successful functional reach(%) during standing balance task. Three-way ANOVA investigated the factors of interest– brain regions, montages, stroke participants, and their interactions.Results: “One-size-fits-all” ctDCS montage for the clinical study was found to be bipolar PO9h – PO10h for dentate nuclei and bipolar Exx7–Exx8 for lobules VII-IX with contalesional anode. Bipolar PO9h–PO10h ctDCS performed significantly (alpha=0.05) better in facilitating successful functional reach (%) when compared to bipolar Exx7–Exx8 ctDCS. Furthermore, a linear relationship between successful functional reach (%) and electric field strength was found where bipolar PO9h–PO10h montage resulted in a significantly (alpha=0.05) higher electric field strength when compared to bipolar Exx7–Exx8 montage for the same 2mA current. Conclusion: We presented a rational neuroimaging based approach to optimize deep ctDCS of the dentate nuclei and lower limb representations in the cerebellum for post-stroke balance rehabilitation.


cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation; dentate nucleus; computational modeling



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