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The Tolerability and Efficacy of 4 mA Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Leg Muscle Fatigability

1
Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2
Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10010012
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 19 December 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 23 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Neuroscience)
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) modulates cortical excitability and affects a variety of outcomes. tDCS at intensities ≤2 mA is well-tolerated, but the tolerability and efficacy of tDCS at intensities >2 mA merits systematic investigation. The study objective was to determine the tolerability and effects of 4 mA tDCS on leg muscle fatigability. Thirty-one young, healthy adults underwent two randomly ordered tDCS conditions (sham, 4 mA) applied before and during an isokinetic fatigue test of the knee extensors and flexors. Subjects reported the severity of the sensations felt from tDCS. Primary outcomes were sensation tolerability and the fatigue index of the knee extensors and flexors. A repeated-measures ANOVA determined statistical significance (p < 0.05). Sensation severity at 4 mA tDCS was not substantially different than sham. However, two subjects reported a moderate–severe headache, which dissipated soon after the stimulation ended. The left knee flexors had significantly greater fatigability with 4 mA tDCS compared with sham (p = 0.018). tDCS at 4 mA was well-tolerated by young, healthy subjects and increased left knee flexor fatigability. Exploration of higher intensity tDCS (>2 mA) to determine the potential benefits of increasing intensity, especially in clinical populations with decreased brain activity/excitability, is warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcranial direct current stimulation; muscle fatigue; high intensity; tolerability transcranial direct current stimulation; muscle fatigue; high intensity; tolerability
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Workman, C.D.; Kamholz, J.; Rudroff, T. The Tolerability and Efficacy of 4 mA Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Leg Muscle Fatigability. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 12.

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