Immediate effect of transcranial direct current stimulation combined with functional electrical stimulation on activity of the tibialis anterior muscle and balance of individuals with hemiparesis stemming from a stroke
[Purpose] The aim of the present study was to evaluate the immediate effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and functional electrical stimulation (FES) on activity of the tibialis anterior muscle (TA) and static balance of individuals with hemiparesis stemming from stroke. [Subjects and Methods] A randomized, double-blind, crossover, clinical trial conducted with 30 individuals with chronic post-stroke hemiparesis. Median frequency of electrical activity of the TA were determined using electromyography in five contractions concentrics and Static balance (body sway velocity and frequency), both before and immediately after the intervention. The participants were submitted to four 20-minute intervention protocols with 48-hour interval: anodal tDCS + sham FES; sham tDCS + active FES; anodal tDCS + active FES and sham tDCS + sham FES. Anodal tDCS was administered over C3 or C4, the cathode was positioned in the supraorbital region on the contralateral side and FES was administered to the affected TA. [Results] No significant differences among the protocols were found regarding electrical activity of the TA and static balance. [Conclusion] The results demonstrate that tDCS alone or in combination with FES had no immediate effect on electrical activity of the TA and static balance of the 30 individuals analyzed.