tDCS Reduces Motor Slowing in Athletes and non-Athletes.

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Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation reduces motor slowing in athletes and non-athletes.

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Motor fatigability describes a phenomenon that occurs when exhaustive exercise or physically demanding tasks are executed over an extended period of time. Concerning fast repetitive movements, it is noticeable by a reduction in movement speed (motor slowing, MoSlo) and occurs due to both central and peripheral factors. The aim of the present study was to examine the presence of MoSlo during hand- (HTT) and foot-tapping tasks (FTT) comparing trained football (FB) and handball players (HB) and non-athletes (NA). Furthermore, we were interested in how far anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) might be capable of modulating MoSlo as compared to sham.
METHODS: A total number of 46 participants were enrolled in a sham-controlled, double-blinded, cross-over study. HTT and FTT were performed before, during, after as well as 30 min after 20 min of tDCS over the leg area of the primary motor cortex (M1).
RESULTS: We could demonstrate that MoSlo during HTT and FTT is a general phenomenon that is observed independent of the type of sports and/or training status. Furthermore, we were able to show a tDCS-induced reduction in MoSlo specifically during FTT in both trained athletes and NA. No such effects could be observed for HTT, indicating local specificity of tDCS-induced effects on a behavioral level.
CONCLUSION: We could demonstrate that tDCS is capable of reducing motor fatigability during fast repetitive movements. These findings are of pivotal interest for many sports where fatigability resistance is a limiting factor in maintaining repetitive movement patterns.

PMID: 32487077 [PubMed – in process]

BMC Neurosci. 2020 Jun 01;21(1):26

Authors: Seidel-Marzi O, Ragert P

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