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Transcranial direct current stimulation for treatment of freezing of gait: A cross-over study

Authors

  • Francesca Valentino MD,

    1. Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche (BioNeC), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
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    • These authors equally contributed to the study.

  • Giuseppe Cosentino MD,

    1. Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche (BioNeC), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
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    • These authors equally contributed to the study.

  • Filippo Brighina MD,

    1. Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche (BioNeC), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
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  • Nicolò Gabriele Pozzi MD,

    1. Fondazione Istituto Neurologico Nazionale ‘‘C. Mondino'', IRCCS, Pavia, Italy
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  • Giorgio Sandrini MD,

    1. Fondazione Istituto Neurologico Nazionale ‘‘C. Mondino'', IRCCS, Pavia, Italy
    2. Department of Brain and Behaviour, University of Pavia, Italy
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  • Brigida Fierro MD,

    1. Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche (BioNeC), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
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  • Giovanni Savettieri MD,

    1. Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche (BioNeC), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
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  • Marco D'Amelio MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche (BioNeC), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
    • Correspondence to: M. D'Amelio, Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via Gaetano La Loggia 1, 90129 Palermo, Italy, E-mail: marco.damelio@unipa.it

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  • Claudio Pacchetti MD

    1. Fondazione Istituto Neurologico Nazionale ‘‘C. Mondino'', IRCCS, Pavia, Italy
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  • Funding agencies: This study was supported by a grant from the Italian Ministry for University Research (MIUR) for the year 2008 (prot. 200855RW5B_004).

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

ABSTRACT

Background and objective

Progression of Parkinson's disease (PD) is frequently characterized by the occurrence of freezing of gait (FOG) representing a disabling motor complication. We aim to investigate safety and efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation of the primary motor cortex of PD patients with FOG.

Methods

In this cross-over, double-blind, sham-controlled study, 10 PD patients with FOG persisting in “on” state underwent anodal and sham direct current stimulation for 5 consecutive days. Clinical assessment over a 1-month period was performed.

Results

A significant improvement of gait, as assessed by the Stand Walk Sit test, with reduction in number and duration of FOG episodes, along with a significant reduction in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score, were observed after anodal stimulation. Beneficial effects were more evident after the entire 5-day stimulation session, and persisted until the end of the observation period.

Conclusions

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the motor cortex is safe and has therapeutic potential in PD patients with FOG. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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