Current Developmental Disorders Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 19–28 | Cite as

The Therapeutic Potential of Non-invasive Neurostimulation for Motor Skill Learning in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Melody N. Grohs
  • A Hilderley
  • A KirtonEmail author
Comorbidities (D Dewey, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Comorbidities


Purpose of Review

Non-invasive neurostimulation is becoming increasingly popular in rehabilitation, as it may enhance the brain’s natural learning processes, potentially increasing the effectiveness of movement interventions. The current paper provides a review of studies that have investigated the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in pediatric populations with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) complicated by motor impairment.

Recent Findings

Proof of principle studies indicate that tDCS can positively influence motor learning in children. The application of tDCS across pediatric populations with NDD is in its early stages.


We emphasize the need for caution and further research investigating the therapeutic potential of tDCS in children with NDD and motor impairment. Indications of efficacy will require carefully designed trials before conclusions of effectiveness can be made. Optimal tDCS protocols may differ across both disorders and individuals. Protocol parameters which produce clinically significant improvements will become clearer with further high-quality evidence.


Neurostimulation Neurodevelopment Transcranial direct current stimulation Motor learning Developmental disorder 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Owerko Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research InstituteUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children’s HospitalUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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