Single session of transcranial direct current stimulation transiently increases knee extensor force in patients with hemiparetic stroke

Satoshi Tanaka, Kotaro Takeda, Yohei Otaka, Kahori Kita, Rieko Osu, Manabu Honda, Norihiro Sadato, Takashi Hanakawa, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the motor cortex can enhance the performance of a paretic upper extremity after stroke. Reported effects on lower limb (LL) function are sparse. Objective. The authors examined whether tDCS can increase the force production of the paretic quadriceps. Methods. In this double-blind, crossover, sham-controlled experimental design, 8 participants with chronic subcortical stroke performed knee extension using their hemiparetic leg before, during, and after anodal or sham tDCS of the LL motor cortex representation in the affected hemisphere. Affected hand-grip force was also recorded. Results. The maximal knee-extension force increased by 21 N (13.2%, P <.01) during anodal tDCS compared with baseline and sham stimulation. The increase persisted less than 30 minutes. Maximal hand-grip force did not change. Conclusions. Anodal tDCS transiently enhanced knee extensor strength. The modest increase was specific to the LL. Thus, tDCS might augment the rehabilitation of stroke patients when combined with lower extremity strengthening or functional training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-569
Number of pages5
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul 1



  • lower extremity strength
  • motor cortex
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • transcranial direct current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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