Behavioural and electrophysiological modulations induced by transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy elderly and Alzheimer's disease patients: A pilot study: Clinical Neurophysiology

J. Cespón, C. Rodella, C. Miniussi, M.C. Pellicciari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether anodal and cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can modify cognitive performance and neural activity in healthy elderly and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Methods: Fourteen healthy elderly and twelve AD patients performed a working memory task during an electroencephalogram recording before and after receiving anodal, cathodal, and sham tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Behavioural performance, event-related potentials (P200, P300) and evoked cortical oscillations were studied as correlates of working memory. Results: Anodal tDCS increased P200 and P300 amplitudes in healthy elderly. Cathodal tDCS increased P200 amplitude and frontal theta activity between 150 and 300 ms in AD patients. Improved working memory after anodal tDCS correlated with increased P300 in healthy elderly. In AD patients, slight tendencies between enhanced working memory and increased P200 after cathodal tDCS were observed. Conclusions: Functional neural modulations were promoted by anodal tDCS in healthy elderly and by cathodal tDCS in AD patients. Significance: Interaction between tDCS polarity and the neural state (e.g., hyper-excitability exhibited by AD patients) suggests that appropriate tDCS parameters (in terms of tDCS polarity) to induce behavioural improvements should be chosen based on the participant's characteristics. Future studies using higher sample sizes should confirm and extend the present findings. © 2019 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2038-2052
Number of pages15
JournalClin. Neurophysiol.
Volume130
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Compensatory mechanisms
  • Event-related potentials
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Working memory
  • adult
  • aged
  • alpha rhythm
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Article
  • behavior change
  • beta rhythm
  • brain electrophysiology
  • clinical article
  • cognition
  • controlled study
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • electroencephalogram
  • event related potential
  • evoked cortical response
  • female
  • human
  • male
  • nerve excitability
  • neuromodulation
  • pilot study
  • priority journal
  • sham procedure
  • task performance
  • theta rhythm
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • very elderly
  • working memory

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