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Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Oct;115(10):2419-23.

MRI study of human brain exposed to weak direct current stimulation of the frontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Georg-August-University, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Goettingen, Germany. mnitsch1@gwdg.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether weak transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which is an interesting new tool inducing prolonged cortical excitability shifts in humans, induces brain edema, disturbance of the blood-brain barrier or structural alterations of the brain detectable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

METHODS:

In 10 healthy individuals, tDCS, which is known to alter cortical excitability for about 1 h, was applied over motor and pre-frontal cortices. contrast-enhanced t1-, t2-, and diffusion-weighted mri was performed immediately before, 30 and 60 min after tdcs.

RESULTS:

MRI performed 30 and 60 min after tDCS did not show pathological signal alterations in pre- and post-contrast-enhanced T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted MR sequences.

CONCLUSIONS:

tDCS protocols which are known to result in cortical excitability changes persisting for an hour after stimulation do not induce brain edema or alterations of the blood-brain barrier or cerebral tissue detectable by MRI.

SIGNIFICANCE:

These results deliver further evidence for the safety of the currently applied tDCS protocols in humans.

PMID:
15351385
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2004.05.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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