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Bilateral extracephalic transcranial direct current stimulation improves endurance performance in healthy individuals

Angius, L., Mauger, A.R., Hopker, J.G., Pascual-Leone, A., Santarnecchi E, E., Marcora, S.M. (2018) Bilateral extracephalic transcranial direct current stimulation improves endurance performance in healthy individuals. Brain Stimulation, 11 (1). pp. 108-117. ISSN 1935-861X. (doi:10.1016/j.brs.2017.09.017) (KAR id:63924)

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Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been used to enhance endurance performance but its precise mechanisms and effects remain unknown. Objective: To investigate the effect of bilateral tDCS on neuromuscular function and performance during a cycling time to task failure (TTF) test. Methods: Twelve participants in randomized order received a placebo tDCS (SHAM) or real tDCS with two cathodes (CATHODAL) or two anodes (ANODAL) over bilateral motor cortices and the opposite electrode pair over the ipsilateral shoulders. Each session lasted 10 min and current was set at 2mA. Neuromuscular assessment was performed before and after tDCS and was followed by a cycling time to task failure (TTF) test. Heart rate (HR), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), leg muscle pain (PAIN) and blood lactate accumulation (?B[La-]) in response to the cycling TTF test were measured. Results: Corticospinal excitability increased in the ANODAL condition (P < 0.001) while none of the other neuromuscular parameters showed any change. Neuromuscular parameters did not change in the SHAM and CATHODAL conditions. TTF was significantly longer in the ANODAL (P = 0.003) compared to CATHODAL and SHAM conditions (12.61 ± 4.65 min; 10.61 ± 4.34 min; 10.21 ± 3.47 min respectively), with significantly lower RPE and higher ?B[La-] (P < 0.001). No differences between conditions were found for HR (P = 0.803) and PAIN during the cycling TTF test (P = 0.305). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that tDCS with the anode over both motor cortices using a bilateral extracephalic reference improves endurance performance.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.brs.2017.09.017
Uncontrolled keywords: endurance performance, fatigue, perception of effort, tDCS
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Lex Mauger
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 09:15 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 02:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mauger, A.R.:
Hopker, J.G.:
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