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Brain Stimul. 2016 May-Jun;9(3):388-95. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2016.02.005. Epub 2016 Feb 12.

Does Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation Induce Cerebellum Plasticity? Feasibility, Safety and Efficacy of a Novel Electrophysiological Approach.

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  • 1IRCCS Centro Neurolesi "Bonino-Pulejo", Messina, Italy.
  • 2IRCCS Centro Neurolesi "Bonino-Pulejo", Messina, Italy; Department of Biomedical Sciences and Morphological and Functional Images, University of Messina, Italy.
  • 3IRCCS Centro Neurolesi "Bonino-Pulejo", Messina, Italy. Electronic address:



Cerebellum-brain functional connectivity can be shaped through different non-invasive neurostimulation approaches. In this study, we propose a novel approach to perturb the cerebellum-brain functional connectivity by means of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS).


Twenty-five healthy individuals underwent a cerebellar tACS protocol employing different frequencies (10, 50, and 300 Hz) and a sham-tACS over the right cerebellar hemisphere. We measured their after-effects on the motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude, the cerebellum-brain inhibition (CBI), the long-latency intracortical inhibition (LICI), from the primary motor cortex of both the hemispheres. In addition, we assessed the functional adaptation to a right hand sequential tapping motor task.


None of the participants had any side-effect. Following 50 Hz-tACS, we observed a clear contralateral CBI weakening, paralleled by a MEP increase with a better adaptation to frequency variations during the sequential tapping. The 300 Hz-tACS induced a contralateral CBI strengthening, without significant MEP and kinematic after-effects. The 10 Hz-tACS conditioning was instead ineffective.


We may argue that tACS protocols could have interfered with the activity of CBI-sustaining Purkinje cell, affecting motor adaptation. Our safe approach seems promising in studying the cerebellum-brain functional connectivity, with possible implications in neurorehabilitative settings.


Cerebellum; Cerebellum-brain inhibition; Motor adaptation; Purkinje cell; Transcranial alternating current stimulation; Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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