Effects Of tDCS With Physical Therapy On Rehabilitation In Parkinson’s Disease


The present study aims to investigate the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) associated with physiotherapy in parkinson´s rehabilitation. Previous studies showed that tDCS could reduce the bradykinesia, one of the symptom of Parkinson disease. In this way, this study will combine tDCS with physiotherapy in order to enhance the motor rehabilitation and the quality of life.

Full Title of Study: “Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Associated With Physical Therapy on Motor Rehabilitation in Parkinson´s Disease Patients”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: September 2012

Detailed Description

12 patients were participated of this study.After screening to check the eligibility criteria and giving informed consent, they were randomized in two groups. All patients were submitted to a 10 therapeutic sessions that occurred 3 times per week.

Before, immediately after and 1 month after the last session patients were submitted to an evaluation with the follow tests: Unified Parkinson´s Disease Rating Scale(UPDRS), Jebsen Taylor Test (JTT) and Parkinson's Disease Quality of Life (PDQL). Furthermore, before and after each session the patients were submitted to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to evaluate cortical excitability through motor threshold and motor evoked potential.

In experimental sessions, the subjects always received physiotherapy with conventional techniques, the protocol followed the clinical practice guideline for physical therapy in Parkinson disease with the Royal Dutch Society Therapy. During tDCS protocol the patients seated in a comfortable chair with head and arm rests. Continuous current was applied using a pair of saline-soaked surface sponge electrodes (surface 35 cm2), the anode electrode was placed over the primary motor cortex and cathode above contralateral orbit. tDCS was applied of twice stimulation of 13 minutes with 20 minutes of interval between them and a current strength of 1mA. Sham tDCS was applied by current flow of 30s.


  • Device: tDCS
    • tDCS involves application of very low amplitude direct current via surface scalp electrodes. The applied current modifies the transmembrane neuronal potential and thus influences the level of excitability. Depending on the polarity of active electrodes tDCS can increase or decrease the cortical excitability. The anodal tDCS increase the excitability.
  • Behavioral: Physiotherapy
    • Physiotherapy protocol followed the guidelines outlined in clinical practice guideline for physical therapy in Parkinson disease of the Royal Dutch society for physical therapy (Keus, 2007). This guideline proposes some objectives for motor rehabilitation in patients with PD, such as: flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, posture and gait. The difficulty of exercises ranged according with Hoehn and Yahr (HY) staging scale. In this way, each stage of HY had a specific physical therapy protocol following the guideline.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Physiotherapy + anodal tDCS
    • The patients will be submit to anodal tDCS applied in the motor cortex and after the patient will be submit to a 30 minutes of physiotherapy protocol.
  • Sham Comparator: Physiotherapy + sham tDCS
    • The patients will be submit to sham tDCS and after the patient will be submit to a 30 minutes of physiotherapy protocol.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change From Unified Parkinson´s Disease Rating Scale – UPDRS
    • Time Frame: At baseline, after 1 month
    • Unified Parkinson´s Disease Rating Scale is the sum of 27 questions, total score ranging from108 (best possible outcome) to 0 (worst possible outcome)”, as accurate and appropriate

Secondary Measures

  • Change From Cortical Excitability Via Single Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
    • Time Frame: per sesssion: at baseline and after physical therapy

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

Parkinson disease comproved by a neurologist Regular treatment with dopamine or other drugs against parkinson

Exclusion Criteria

pregnant history of convulsion metal implant in the region of skull or face change in medication during the study realize other physical therapy in the same time of the study previous surgery for parkinson disease

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 40 Years

Maximum Age: 80 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Kátia Monte-Silva, Doctor – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Kátia K Monte-Silva, PhD, Study Director, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

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