Impact of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Intensity on Leg Muscle Fatigability in Healthy Adults

2020-03-31 04:04:33 | BioPortfolio


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a painless,non-invasive means of increasing brain excitability. It has been used for several years and in many populations to improve physical and psychological outcomes. Although many tDCS devices are capable of a range of stimulation intensities (e.g., 0 mA - 5 mA), the intensities currently employed in most tDCS research are ≤ 2 mA, which are sufficient to elicit measurable improvements; but, these improvements might be expanded at higher intensities. In the beginning, when the safety of tDCS was still being established for human subjects, careful and moderate approaches to stimulation protocols were warranted. However, recent work using stimulation at higher intensities, i.e. up to 4 mA, has been performed in many populations and was found to have no additional negative side-effects. Now that the safety of tDCS at higher intensities is better established, work exploring the differences in performance between moderate (i.e. 2 mA) and higher (i.e. 4 mA) intensities is necessary to determine if increasing intensity increases the effectiveness of the desired outcome.

Prospective participants will include 40 healthy young adults (all right-side dominant) that will be recruited to complete four randomly ordered stimulation sessions (Baseline, 2 mA, 4 mA, and sham), separated by at least 5 days. Each session will involve one visit to the Integrative Neurophysiology Laboratory (INPL) and will last for approximately one hour. We expect data collection to last 6 months. The first session includes leg strength measurements and fatigue tasks of both legs, as well as a baseline 6 min walk test (6MWT) to determine fatigued walking characteristics. The following three sessions will include performing a random tDCS condition (2 mA, 4 mA, or sham) over the brain area that controls the participant's dominant leg for 15 minutes prior to and then throughout the duration of the fatigue task of the dominant leg (16-20 min total stimulation time). The fatigue task for the nondominant leg will be performed after a 10 minute energy recovery period. After the fatigue task has been completed for both legs, the participants will perform the 6MWT.

Study Design




Sham transcranial direct current stimulation, Transcranial direct current stimulation at 2 mA, Transcranial direct current stimulation at 4 mA


University of Iowa
Iowa City
United States


Active, not recruiting


University of Iowa

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2020-03-31T04:04:33-0400

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