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The effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on motor cortex excitability

Transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) is a noninvasive technique that can be used to stimulate the brain through the scalp. Prior studies have used TDCS to stimulate regions of the brain that control movement (e.g., the motor cortex) in individuals who have had a stroke. Findings from these studies suggest that the ability to move the arm and hand can be improved when TDCS is combined with physical therapy. The mechanism that underlies this improvement may be related to the ability of TDCS to modulate interactions between the affected and unaffected motor cortex. In this project, healthy individuals will receive TDCS and we will quantify how excitability in both the left and right motor cortex changes after treatment. This research will allow us to better understand the mechanisms by which TDCS can improve movements after stroke.

Investigators: Dr. Joyce Chen, Dr. Robert Chen, Dr. Mike Vesia; Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto Western Hospital