Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Neil D. Kent

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Mountjoy

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William Burian


Although the clinical manifestations of cerebral palsy are many and varied, spasticity is a common aspect of the disorder, observed in as many as 75% of all cases (Paneth & Kiely, 1984). A double-blind and placebo-controlled and counter balanced reversal design was employed to evaluate the effectiveness of transcranial electrical stimulation (TCS) in the treatment of spastic cerebral palsy in six severely mentally impaired individuals. Although there appeared to be some improvement from pre to post measures, a comparison of the placebo and treatment conditions yielded results indicating that transcranial electrical stimulation did not increase the passive range of motion of three target joints or affect therapists' ratings of the ease of passive movement. Therapists' ratings of the pain experienced by participants during passive movement of target joints were also unaffected by the intervention. These findings appear to contradict an earlier investigation (Malden & Charash, 1985) which found transcranial electrical stimulation useful in the treatment of spasticity. Results are discussed in light of a lack of basic research supporting the hypothesized mechanism of action.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. Fred Gault

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons