par Manto, Mario ;Oulad Ben Taib, Nordeyn
Référence Medical hypotheses, 71, 1, page (58-60)
Publication Publié, 2008
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The terminology of cerebellar ataxias encompasses a variety of sporadic and inherited debilitating diseases. Patients exhibit disabling deficits such as dysmetria, kinetic tremor and ataxia of stance/gait. We are currently lacking effective treatments in degenerative cerebellar ataxias. Animal models of cerebellar disorders and studies in ataxic patients have demonstrated that the excitability of the sensorimotor cortex is severely depressed in case of cerebellar lesion. These reduced levels of excitability are associated with learning deficits. Recent experimental data show that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the premotor cortex and low-frequency repetitive stimulation of the motor cortex (LFRSM1) restore the excitability of the motor cortex in hemicerebellectomized rats, reinstating the ability of the motor cortex to adapt to sustained peripheral stimulation. The hypothesis is based on the possibility that the combination of tDCS and contralateral LFRSM1 can improve human cerebellar ataxias. The proposed treatment consists of delivering trains of tDCS either in conjunction or in alternance with contralateral LFRSM1, in addition to application of peripheral nerve stimulation to sensitize the sensorimotor cortex. This hypothesis is to be tested in a procedure made of 3 steps in patients exhibiting a sporadic or inherited cerebellar disorder. First, patients are assessed clinically using validated scales of cerebellar ataxias and performing accepted quantified tests. Second, trains of tDCS and LFRSM1 are delivered, using a sham procedure in a cross-over design. Trains of peripheral stimulation are applied at peripheral nerves. Third, patients are re-assessed clinically and with quantified tests. Although grafting of stem cells and gene therapy are being developed, they will not be available soon. A successful treatment of combined neurostimulation would lead to a new and readily available approach in the management of cerebellar ataxias. This new therapy is safe, feasible and may bring symptomatic improvement.