Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Brain glucose uptake during transcranial direct current stimulation measured with functional [18F]FDG-PET.

  • Kraus, Christoph1
  • Hahn, Andreas1
  • Sigurdardottir, Helen1
  • Spurny, Benjamin1
  • Wadsak, Wolfgang2, 3
  • Mitterhauser, Markus2, 4
  • Hacker, Marcus2
  • Kasper, Siegfried1
  • Lanzenberger, Rupert5
  • 1 Neuroimaging Labs (NIL) - PET & MRI & EEG & Chemical Lab, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Austria. , (Austria)
  • 2 Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Austria. , (Austria)
  • 3 Center for Biomarker Research in Medicine (CBmed), Graz, Austria. , (Austria)
  • 4 Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Applied Diagnostics, Vienna, Austria. , (Austria)
  • 5 Neuroimaging Labs (NIL) - PET & MRI & EEG & Chemical Lab, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Austria. [email protected] , (Austria)
Published Article
Brain Imaging and Behavior
Publication Date
Oct 10, 2019
DOI: 10.1007/s11682-019-00195-4
PMID: 31598826


Previous evidence indicates that transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory brain stimulation technique. Easy applicability, low side-effects and negligible costs facilitated its wide-spread application in efforts to modulate brain function, however neuronal mechanisms of tDCS are insufficiently understood. Hence, we investigated the immediate impact of tDCS on the brain's glucose consumption in a continuous infusion protocol with the radioligand 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) and positron emission tomography (PET). This novel functional PET (fPET) method is capable to reliably detect area-specific and dynamic absolute glucose demand related to neuronal activity in a single molecular imaging session. Fifteen healthy subjects underwent tDCS at 0.5, 1 and 2 mA (mA) at the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, cathodal right) for 10 min during functional [18F]FDG-PET lasting 70 min. Active stimulation compared to sham did not yield significant changes in glucose consumption at any tested stimulation intensity in this paradigm. Exploratory investigation of aftereffects provided hints for increased glucose consumption with a delay of 5 min at 1 mA in the right posterior temporal cortex. This is the first study investigating changes of glucose consumption in the brain during tDCS. The lack of immediately increased glucose consumption indicates that energy demanding processes in the brain such as glutamatergic signaling might not be immediately increased by tDCS. However, our results implicate the need of fPET investigations for medium-term and long-term effects.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times