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No Immediate Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation at Various Intensities on Cerebral Blood Flow in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Authors
  • Workman, Craig D.
  • Ponto, Laura L. Boles
  • Kamholz, John
  • Rudroff, Thorsten
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain Sciences
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 04, 2020
Volume
10
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci10020082
PMID: 32033094
PMCID: PMC7071720
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Animal and transcranial magnetic stimulation motors have evoked potential studies suggesting that the currently used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) intensities produce measurable physiological changes. However, the validity, mechanisms, and general efficacy of this stimulation modality are currently being scrutinized. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effects of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tDCS on cerebral blood flow. A sample of three people with multiple sclerosis underwent two blocks of five randomly assigned tDCS intensities (1, 2, 3, 4 mA, and sham; 5 min each) and [15O]water positron emission tomography imaging. The relative regional (i.e., areas under the electrodes) and global cerebral blood flow were calculated. The results revealed no notable differences in regional or global cerebral blood flow from the different tDCS intensities. Thus, 5 min of tDCS at 1, 2, 3, and 4 mA did not result in immediate changes in cerebral blood flow. To achieve sufficient magnitudes of intracranial electrical fields without direct peripheral side effects, novel methods may be required.

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