Background: Cerebellar ataxias represent a wide and heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by balance and coordination disturbance, dysarthria, dyssynergia and adyadococinesia, caused by a dysfunction in the cerebellum. In recent years there has been growing interest in discovering therapeutical strategy for specific forms of cerebellar ataxia. Together with pharmacological studies, there has been growing interest in non-invasive cerebellar stimulation techniques to improve ataxia and limb coordination. Both transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are non-invasive techniques to modulate cerebro and cerebellar cortex excitability using magnetic or electric fields.
Methods: Here we aim to review the most relevant studies regarding the application of TMS and tDCS for the treatment of cerebellar ataxia.
Conclusion: As pharmacological strategies were shown to be effective in specific forms of cerebellar ataxia and are not devoid of collateral effects, non-invasive stimulation may represent a promising strategy to improve residual cerebellar circuits functioning and a complement tool to pharmacotherapy.