Transcranial direct current stimulation improves the QT variability index and autonomic cardiac control in healthy subjects older than 60 years

Gianfranco Piccirillo, Cristina Ottaviani, Claudia Fiorucci, Nicola Petrocchi, Federica Moscucci, Claudia Di Iorio, Fabiola Mastropietri, Ilaria Parrotta, Matteo Pascucci, Damiano Magrì

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Noninvasive brain stimulation technique is an interesting tool to investigate the causal relation between cortical functioning and autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses. Objective: The objective of this report is to evaluate whether anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the temporal cortex influences short-period temporal ventricular repolarization dispersion and cardiovascular ANS control in elderly subjects. Subjects and methods: In 50 healthy subjects (29 subjects younger than 60 years and 21 subjects older than 60 years) matched for gender,short-period RR and systolic blood pressure spectral variability,QT variability index (QTVI),and noninvasive hemodynamic data were obtained during anodal tDCS or sham stimulation. Results: In the older group,the QTVI,low-frequency (LF) power expressed in normalized units,the ratio between LF and high-frequency (HF) power,and systemic peripheral resistances decreased,whereas HF power expressed in normalized units and α HF power increased during the active compared to the sham condition (P,0.05). Conclusion: In healthy subjects older than 60 years,tDCS elicits cardiovascular and autonomic changes. Particularly,it improves temporal ventricular repolarization dispersion,reduces sinus sympathetic activity and systemic peripheral resistance,and increases vagal sinus activity and baroreflex sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1687-1695
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Interventions in Aging
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 16 2016

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Heart rate variability
  • QT variability
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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