Various studies have investigated the effect of noninvasive brain stimulation methods such as transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) on postural control in healthy young and older adults. However, the use of different treatment protocols and outcome measures makes it difficult to interpret the research results. This systematic review provides a comprehensive overview of the current literature on the effect of tDCS on postural control. Nine databases were searched for papers assessing the effect of tDCS on postural control in young healthy and/or older adults. The data of included studies were extracted and methodological quality examined using PEDro. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The results showed that anodal tDCS (a-tDCS) of primary motor cortex may improve dynamic balance in young healthy individuals. In older adults, a-tDCS of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and cerebellum showed a positive effect on dual task and dynamic balance, respectively. In conclusion, tDCS may improve both static and dynamic balance in younger and older adults. However, due to lack of consensus in the results, caution is required when drawing conclusions with regards to these findings.
- Older adults
- Transcranial direct current stimulation