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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 5961362, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/5961362
Research Article

Multisession Anodal tDCS Protocol Improves Motor System Function in an Aging Population

1Centre de Recherche de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, 5400 boulevard Gouin Ouest, Montréal, QC, Canada H4J 1C5
2Département de Psychologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, 100 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC, Canada H2X 3P2
3Unité de Neuroimagerie Fonctionnelle, Centre de Recherche de l’Institut de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4545 chemin Queen-Mary, Montréal, QC, Canada H3W 1W4
4Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7
5Département de Psychologie, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3600 rue Sainte-Marguerite, Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G8Z 1X3

Received 2 September 2015; Revised 17 November 2015; Accepted 22 November 2015

Academic Editor: Jyoti Mishra

Copyright © 2016 G. Dumel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effects of five consecutive, daily 20-minute sessions of M1 a-tDCS on motor learning in healthy, cognitively intact, aging adults. Design. A total of 23 participants (51 to 69 years old) performed five consecutive, daily 20-minute sessions of a serial reaction time task (SRT task) concomitant with either anodal () or sham () M1 a-tDCS. Results. We found a significant group training sessions interaction, indicating that whereas aging adults in the sham group exhibited little-to-no sequence-specific learning improvements beyond the first day of training, reproducible improvements in the ability to learn new motor sequences over 5 consecutive sessions were the net result in age-equivalent participants from the M1 a-tDCS group. A significant main effect of group on sequence-specific learning revealed greater motor learning for the M1 a-tDCS group when the five learning sessions were averaged. Conclusion. These findings raise into prominence the utility of multisession anodal TDCS protocols in combination with motor training to help prevent/alleviate age-associated motor function decline.