BACKGROUND: Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is a promising tool for facilitating motor function. NIBS therapy in conjunction with training using postural feedback may facilitate physical rehabilitation following posture disorders (e.g., Pusher Syndrome).
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were, 1) to develop a low-cost point-of-care-testing (POCT) system for standing posture, 2) to investigate the effects of anodal tDCS on functional reach tasks using the POCT system.
METHODS: Ten community-dwelling elderly (age >50 years) subjects evaluated the POCT system for standing posture during functional reach tasks where their balance score on Berg Balance Scale was compared with that from Center-of-Mass (CoM) - Center-of-Pressure (CoP) posturography. Then, in a single-blind, sham-controlled study, five healthy right-leg dominant subjects (age: 26.4 ± 5.3 yrs) were evaluated using the POCT system under two conditions - with anodal tDCS of primary motor representations of right tibialis anterior muscle and with sham tDCS.
RESULTS: The maximum CoP-CoM lean-angle was found to be well correlated with the BBS score in the elderly subjects The anodal tDCS strongly (p = 0.0000) affected the maximum CoP excursions but not the return reaction time in healthy.
CONCLUSION: It was concluded that the CoM-CoP lean-line could be used for posture feedback and monitoring during tDCS therapy in conjunction with balance training exercises.
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