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Carlos Amo, Miguel Ortiz del Castillo, Rafael Barea, Luis de Santiago, Alejandro Martínez-Arribas, Pedro Amo-López and Luciano Boquete

Objective:

Propose a simplified method applicable in routine clinical practice that uses EEG to assess induced gamma-band activity (GBA) in the 30–90 Hz frequency range in cerebral motor areas.

Design:

EEG recordings (25 healthy subjects) of cerebral activity (at rest, motor task). GBA was obtained as power spectral density (PSD). GBA — defined as the gamma index (Iγ) — was calculated using the basal GBA (γB) and motor GBA (γMOV) PSD values.

Results:

The mean values of Iγ were (Iγ R (right hand) = 1.30, Iγ L (left hand) = 1.22). Manual laterality showed a correlation with Iγ.

Conclusions:

Iγ may provide a useful way of indirectly assessing operation of activated motor neuronal circuits. It could be applied to diagnosis of motor area pathologies and as follow up in rehabilitation processes. Likewise, Iγ could enable the assessment of motor capacity, physical training and manual laterality in sport medicine.

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Pedro L. Valenzuela, Carlos Amo, Guillermo Sánchez-Martínez, Elaia Torrontegi, Javier Vázquez-Carrión, Zigor Montalvo, Alejandro Lucia and Pedro de la Villa

Purpose: To determine if transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) could be effective for the enhancement of swimming performance or mood state in elite athletes. Methods : Eight male elite triathletes (age = 20 [2] y, maximal oxygen uptake = 71 [4] mL·kg−1·min−1) participated in this crossover, counterbalanced, sham-controlled, double-blind study. Participants received either actual (20 min of anodal stimulation of the motor cortex at 2 mA) or sham tDCS and performed an 800-m swimming test in which rating of perceived exertion and blood lactate response were measured. Mood state (Brunel Mood Scale) was assessed before and after each tDCS session and after the swimming test. Heart-rate variability and central nervous system readiness were assessed before and after each tDCS session. The chances of finding differences between conditions were determined using magnitude-based inferences. Results : A significant and very likely higher Brunel Mood Scale–determined vigor self-perception was found with actual tDCS after the stimulation session (−0.1 [1.2] and 2.0 [2.3] for sham and actual tDCS, respectively; P = .018, effect size = 1.14) and after exercise (−4.1 [2.9] and −0.9 [3.6] for sham and actual tDCS, respectively; P = .022, effect size = 0.98). However, likely trivial and nonsignificant (P > .05) differences were found between conditions in performance (599 [38] s and 596 [39] s, respectively). Unclear and nonsignificant differences were observed between conditions for the rest of the study end points. Conclusions : tDCS elicited a marked increase in vigor self-perception that was maintained after exercise but failed to improve swimming performance in elite triathletes.