What Do We Know About the Influence of the Cerebellum on Walking Ability? Promising Findings from Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation

Antonino Naro, Demetrio Milardi, Alberto Cacciola, Margherita Russo, Francesca Sciarrone, Gianluca La Rosa, Alessia Bramanti, Placido Bramanti, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Several cerebellar functions related to upper limb motor control have been studied using non-invasive brain stimulation paradigms. We have recently shown that transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) may be a promising approach in shaping the plasticity of cerebellum-brain pathways in a safe and effective manner. This study aimed to assess whether cerebellar tACS at different frequencies may tune M1-leg excitability and modify gait control in healthy human subjects. To this end, we tested the effects of different cerebellar tACS frequencies over the right cerebellar hemisphere (at 10, 50, and 300 Hz, besides a sham-tACS) on M1-leg excitability, cerebellum-brain inhibition (CBI), and gait parameters in a sample of 25 healthy volunteers. Fifty and 300 Hz tACS differently modified M1-leg excitability and CBI from both lower limbs, without significant gait perturbations. We hypothesize that tACS aftereffect may depend on a selective entrainment of distinct cerebellar networks related to lower limb motor functions. Therefore, cerebellar tACS might represent a useful tool to modulate walking training in people with cerebellum-related gait impairment, given that tACS may potentially reset abnormal cerebellar circuitries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalCerebellum
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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