Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : OBJECT: The cerebellum is a key modulator of motor cortex activity, allowing both the maintenance and fine-tuning of motor cortex discharges. One elemental defect associated with acute cerebellar lesions is decreased excitability of the contralateral motor cortex, which is assumed to participate in deficits in skilled movements and considered a major defect in motor cortex properties. In the present study, the authors assessed the effect of trains of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which elicits polarity-dependent shifts in resting membrane potentials. METHODS: Transcranial DCS countered the defect in motor cortex excitability contralaterally to the hemicerebellar ablation. RESULTS: The depression of both the H-reflex and F wave remained unchanged with tDCS, and cutaneomuscular reflexes remained unaffected. Transcranial DCS antagonized motor cortex hypoexcitability induced by high-frequency stimulation of interpositus nucleus. CONCLUSIONS: The authors' results show that tDCS has the potential to modulate motor cortex excitability after acute cerebellar dysfunction. By putting the motor cortex at the appropriate level of excitability, tDCS might allow the motor cortex to become more reactive to the procedures of training or learning.