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The impact of transcranial direct current stimulation on upper-limb motor performance in healthy adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Title: The impact of transcranial direct current stimulation on upper-limb motor performance in healthy adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Authors: Patel, R
Ashcroft, J
Patel, A
Ashrafian, H
Woods, A
Singh, H
Darzi, A
Leff, D
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has previously been reported to improve facets of upper limb motor performance such as accuracy and strength. However, the magnitude of motor performance improvement has not been reviewed by contemporaneous systematic review or meta-analysis of sham vs. active tDCS. Objective: To systematically review and meta-analyse the existing evidence regarding the benefits of tDCS on upper limb motor performance in healthy adults. Methods: A systematic search was conducted to obtain relevant articles from three databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO) yielding 3,200 abstracts. Following independent assessment by two reviewers, a total of 86 articles were included for review, of which 37 were deemed suitable for meta-analysis. Results: Meta-analyses were performed for four outcome measures, namely: reaction time (RT), execution time (ET), time to task failure (TTF), and force. Further qualitative review was performed for accuracy and error. Statistically significant improvements in RT (effect size −0.01; 95% CI −0.02 to 0.001, p = 0.03) and ET (effect size −0.03; 95% CI −0.05 to −0.01, p = 0.017) were demonstrated compared to sham. In exercise tasks, increased force (effect size 0.10; 95% CI 0.08 to 0.13, p < 0.001) and a trend towards improved TTF was also observed. Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides evidence attesting to the impact of tDCS on upper limb motor performance in healthy adults. Improved performance is demonstrable in reaction time, task completion time, elbow flexion tasks and accuracy. Considerable heterogeneity exists amongst the literature, further confirming the need for a standardised approach to reporting tDCS studies.
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2019
Date of Acceptance: 28-Oct-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/74341
DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01213
ISSN: 1662-453X
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Journal / Book Title: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Volume: 13
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Patel, Ashcroft, Patel, Ashrafian, Woods, Singh, Darzi and Leff. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Sponsor/Funder: National Institute of Health Research
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS)
systematic review
meta-analysis
motor
healthy
performance
RANDOMIZED DOUBLE-BLIND
DORSOLATERAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
NONINVASIVE BRAIN-STIMULATION
SKILL ACQUISITION
ANODAL-TDCS
PREMOTOR CORTEX
CORTICOSPINAL EXCITABILITY
FORCE ENDURANCE
WORKING-MEMORY
DC-STIMULATION
healthy
meta-analysis
motor
performance
systematic review
transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS)
1109 Neurosciences
1702 Cognitive Sciences
1701 Psychology
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 1213
Appears in Collections:Department of Surgery and Cancer
Institute of Global Health Innovation