Neuras 3: tDCS stimulation combined with robotic rehabilitation to improve motor control of the upper extremity in chronic stroke patients

Project Leader: Ruud Selles
PhD Candidate: Rick van der Vliet
People involved: Maarten Frens, Gerard Ribbers, Opher Donchin
Companies: Rijndam Rehabilitation Centre, TMSI
Clinical Partners: Erasmus MC, Rijndam Rehabilitation Centre

Subproject 3 focuses on the improvement of upper extremity function in stroke patients. In recent years, a number of studies have evaluated the effects of tDCS for motor rehabilitation after stroke. For the brain, it has been reported that anodal stimulation increases the neuronal excitability of the area being stimulated, whereas cathodal stimulation decreases the neuronal excitability (inhibition). While a large number of studies reported beneficial effects, most studies are small and effects of the stimulation seem to vary. The aim of subproject 3 is to facilitate upper extremity rehabilitation of stroke patients through development of innovative tDCS stimulation protocols during upper extremity rehabilitation robotic training and to develop a clinical prediction model based on a detailed description of the patient characteristics. More specifically:

  • We will develop and test an innovative stimulation protocol to improve motor learning,
  • Translate this protocol for use in sub-acute stroke patients,
  • Establish clinical effectiveness of tDCS stimulation combined with robotic training and
  • Establish determinants of treatment success in a clinical prediction model.