The Effect of Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (ctDCS) on Postural Control Strategies in Elderly Population
Loss of balance and postural control are the main reasons for falls among the elderly adults that are considered as serious elderly health challenges with high impacts on the quality of life. The cerebellum is involved in postural control as one of the key neural structures that receives many inputs from the sensory systems. Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) is a popular noninvasive and safe method enabling the adjustment of cerebellar activity. Therefore, we investigated the effect of ctDCS on postural control variables among elderly population with a history of stroke. Thirty elderly individuals (60-75 years) participated in this study. After preliminary assessments of postural control strategies by post urography at six sensory conditions, they received five 20-min sessions of active ctDCS at 2mA (intervention, n = 15) or sham stimulation (control, n = 15) in a random manner. At the end of the stimulation process, postural control strategies were reassessed. After adjustment for pre-test values using the ANCOVA test, an improvement of the subjects' performance in the first four conditions was observed in the intervention group compared with the control group (P < 0.05). However, in the fifth (P = 0.24) and sixth (P = 0.58) conditions, there were no significant differences between the groups. The results of this study showed the significant effect of ctDCS on the postural control strategies. These improvements were reflected by normalization of strategy of postural control in elderly adults.