Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Daniel Young

First Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Second Committee Member

Jing Nong Liang

Number of Pages



Background: Non-invasive brain stimulation is effective in combination with traditional physical therapy to facilitate motor performance in patients who recently survived a stroke. Current literature has focused on transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation efficacy for improving the completion of fine motor tasks in the upper extremities. However, there is a lack of current evidence regarding the efficacy of this therapy in the lower extremities. Objective: To measure the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on lower extremity clinical outcomes in patients who had a stroke including gait speed, functional reach, and balance. Methods: Randomized control trial in adults (n=10) at least 6 months post-stroke recruited from the community. Anodal tDCS applied over the lesioned motor cortex using a 2mA current for a total of 20 minutes. Gait was assessed via 10M Walk Test and Berg Balance Scale. Balance was assessed utilizing the Bertec Balance Advantage System. Results: We found significant differences between stimulation and sham treatment for Static start 10M Walk Test, forward reach distance, backward movement velocity, and backward endpoint excursion. There were no differences between groups for the other dependent variables that we tested. Conclusion: Treatment resulted in increased speed to initiate walking, improved functional reach, and further backwards center of gravity excursion. We recommend incorporating non-invasive brain stimulation with rehabilitation training and neuroplasticity facilitation techniques to facilitate walking and improve balance in patients following stroke.


Transcranial Direct Current Stim


Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy

File Format


File Size

455 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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