Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation on Motor Function in Pediatric Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

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Purpose:To determine effects of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) on motor function for children with cerebral palsy.Methods:Six electronic databases were searched using terms related to tDCS, combined with functional deficits/associated clinical measures. Results were filtered, including randomized controlled trials in English and children with cerebral palsy. Data were extracted using standardized procedures, and the PEDro scale was used to assess quality and meta-analyses conducted.Results:From 135 articles, 9 studies with moderate quality met inclusion criteria. Six were included in 7 separate meta-analyses supporting a benefit of tDCS for static balance, only at follow-up. Benefits of tDCS on dynamic balance, step length, and mobility were not established.Conclusions:The findings from meta-analyses suggest that tDCS may provide improvements in static balance at follow-up in children with cerebral palsy and positive effects on gait velocity; however, there was heterogeneity. Further research is needed before this therapy can be endorsed.

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