Task-Specific Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Motor Learning.

Task-Specific Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Motor Learning.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2013; 7: 333
Saucedo Marquez CM, Zhang X, Swinnen SP, Meesen R, Wenderoth N

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a relatively new non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates neural processes. When applied to the human primary motor cortex (M1), tDCS has beneficial effects on motor skill learning and consolidation in healthy controls and in patients. However, it remains unclear whether tDCS improves motor learning in a general manner or whether these effects depend on which motor task is acquired. Here we compare whether the effect of tDCS differs when the same individual acquires (1) a Sequential Finger Tapping Task (SEQTAP) and (2) a Visual Isometric Pinch Force Task (FORCE). Both tasks have been shown to be sensitive to tDCS applied over M1, however, the underlying processes mediating learning and memory formation might benefit differently from anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (anodal-tDCS). Thirty healthy subjects were randomly assigned to an anodal-tDCS group or sham-group. Using a double-blind, sham-controlled cross-over design, tDCS was applied over M1 while subjects acquired each of the motor tasks over three consecutive days, with the order being randomized across subjects. We found that anodal-tDCS affected each task differently: the SEQTAP task benefited from anodal-tDCS during learning, whereas the FORCE task showed improvements only at retention. These findings suggest that anodal-tDCS applied over M1 appears to have a task-dependent effect on learning and memory formation. HubMed – rehab

Visuomotor competencies and primary monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis in prepubertal aged children.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013; 9: 921-926
Esposito M, Gallai B, Parisi L, Roccella M, Marotta R, Lavano SM, Mazzotta G, Patriciello G, Precenzano F, Carotenuto M

Primary monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (PMNE) is a common problem in the developmental ages; it is the involuntary loss of urine during the night in children older than 5 years of age. Several clinical observations have suggested an association between bedwetting and developmental delays in motricity, language development, learning disability, physical growth, and skeletal maturation. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the prevalence of fine motor coordination and visuomotor integration abnormalities in prepubertal children with PMNE.The study population included 31 children (16 males, 15 females; mean age 8.14 years ± 1.36 years), and the control group comprised 61 typical developing children (32 males, 29 females; mean age 8.03 years ± 1.44 years). The whole population underwent a clinical evaluation to assess total intelligence quotient level, visuomotor integration (VMI) skills, and motor coordination performance (using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, or M-ABC).No significant differences between the two study groups were found for age (P = 0.725), gender (P = 0.886), z-body mass index (P = 0.149), or intellectual abilities (total intelligence quotient) (P = 0.163). The PMNE group showed a higher prevalence of borderline performance on M-ABC evaluation and in pathologic performance on VMI Total Task compared to controls (P < 0.001). No significant differences between the two study groups were found for pathologic performances on the M-ABC (P = 0.07), VMI Visual Task (P = 0.793), and VMI Motor Task (P = 0.213).Our findings pinpointed that PMNE should not be considered as a voiding disorder alone and, consequently, the children affected should be referred to specific rehabilitative programs that aim to improve motor coordination and visuomotor integration. HubMed – rehab

A longitudinal, qualitative and quantitative exploration of daily life and need for rehabilitation among patients with high-grade gliomas and their caregivers.

BMJ Open. 2013; 3(7):
Piil K, Jarden M, Jakobsen J, Christensen KB, Juhler M

High-grade gliomas (HGGs) are the most malignant type of brain tumours. The 5-year survival is 10% and a significant part of the ongoing research aims to increase survival through surgical and oncological treatments. Accordingly, there is an increasing need for investigating the HGG trajectory in order to recommend specific guidelines for rehabilitative and supportive interventions.This study protocol (phase I) describes a longitudinal, qualitative, explorative and descriptive interview study of the life situation and need for rehabilitation among patients and their caregivers and a quantitative evaluation of health-related quality of life. Qualitative and quantitative data are collected in parallel, analysed separately and then merged. The finding of this study will, together with the existing literature, form the background for phase II, which is a feasibility study with a pre-experimental one-group design testing a rehabilitative and supportive intervention programme. The aim of this paper was to describe the design of an upcoming study. Interviews with 30 patients and 30 caregivers will provide information about how the life situation is experienced during the first year after being diagnosed with HGG. Quantitative measurements of quality of life, well-being and physical activity will provide additional information. More precisely, both qualitative and quantitative data will support the planning of the programme regarding the type of intervention(s), with or without supervision, the appropriate time along the trajectory, frequency, localisation, endpoint measurements and eligible patients and/or caregivers.According to the Research Ethics Committee, approval is not needed for phase I as it is a non-intervention part of the study. Ethical approval of phase II will be sought at the time where the content of the intervention programme has been developed. Dissemination will occur through presentation and findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals. HubMed – rehab