New Paper: Effects of 6-month at-home transcranial direct current stimulation on cognition and cerebral glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease
Im JJ, Jeong H, Bikson M, Woods AJ, Unal G, Oh JK, Na S, Park, J-S, Knotkova H, Song I-K, Chung Y-A. Effects of 6-month at-home transcranial direct current stimulation on cognition and cerebral glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Stimulation 12 (2019) 1222e1228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2019.06.003.
Although single or multiple sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the prefrontal cortex over a few weeks improved cognition in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), effects of repeated tDCS over longer period and underlying neural correlates remain to be elucidated. This study investigated changes in cognitive performances and regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (rCMRglc) after administration of prefrontal tDCS over 6 months in early AD patients. Patients with early AD were randomized to receive either active (n = 11) or sham tDCS (n = 7) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) at home every day for 6 months (anode F3/cathode F4, 2 mA for 30 min). All patients underwent neuropsychological tests and brain 18F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scans at baseline and 6-month follow-up. Changes in cognitive performances and rCMRglc were compared between the two groups. Compared to sham tDCS, active tDCS improved global cognition measured with Mini-Mental State Examination (p for interaction = 0.02) and language function assessed by Boston Naming Test (p for interaction = 0.04), but not delayed recall performance. In addition, active tDCS prevented decreases in executive function at a marginal level (p for interaction < 0.10). rCMRglc in the left middle/inferior temporal gyrus was preserved in the active group, but decreased in the sham group (p for interaction < 0.001). Daily tDCS over the DLPFC for 6 months may improve or stabilize cognition and rCMRglc in AD patients, suggesting the therapeutic potential of repeated at-home tDCS.