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Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Neurologic Diagnoses

presented by Heather T. Peters, PhD (cand.), MOT, OTR/L

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Heather T. Peters receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Heather T. Peters has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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New and cutting edge technologies to address neurologic impairments are emerging every day. However, many of them are exceedingly expensive, only effective for a minority of patients, or difficult to implement in clinical practice. One of the most cutting edge and exciting new adjunctive techniques is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a safe and portable form of noninvasive brain stimulation that can be overlaid onto repetitive, task-specific training ("Functional Brain Stimulation(TM)") without interfering with patient movements. tDCS is inexpensive, easy to use, and you may already have the necessary equipment in your clinic! In this course, we will discuss the rationale for tDCS use, differentiate between tDCS and other forms of noninvasive brain stimulation, and look at neurologic mechanisms and evidence supporting tDCS use in a variety of diagnoses and impairments. In addition, we will specifically describe and provide video examples of how tDCS could potentially be implemented into your treatment sessions so that you can maximize outcomes for your patients.

Meet Your Instructor

Heather T. Peters, PhD (cand.), MOT, OTR/L

Heather is an occupational therapist and PhD candidate in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Ohio State University. Currently working in the B.R.A.I.N. lab as a graduate research associate, she is primarily interested in developing and testing interventions that improve motor function and quality of life in stroke survivors. Specifically, her primary research…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Overview of Brain Stimulation Techniques

This chapter provides an overview of neuroplasticity, learned non-use, basic mechanisms of TMS, and how TMS is used for assessment and treatment. There is a brief introduction to tDCS and how to differentiate between tDCS and TMS.

2. tDCS Mechanisms and Safety

This chapter summarizes the physiological basis for tDCS, including interhemispheric imbalance, long-term potentiation, and long-term depression. Mechanisms for both anodal and cathodal stimulation techniques are described, as well as the established tDCS safety guidelines.

3. Evidence for tDCS

This chapter covers tDCS evidence and use in various diagnoses, including neurodegenerative diseases, spinal cord injury, and stroke. tDCS evidence and use in post-stroke upper and lower extremity motor function is also discussed.

4. How to Use tDCS

This chapter covers the supplies needed to administer tDCS, including electrodes, electrode sponges, and machine. A demonstration shows the electrode placement for both anodal and cathodal stimulation, as well as usage of the tDCS device.

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