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Neurosci Lett. 2014 Aug 8;577:61-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.06.021. Epub 2014 Jun 14.

QEEG indexed frontal connectivity effects of transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS): A sham-controlled mechanistic trial.

Author information

1
Spaulding Neuromodulation Center, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA.
2
Spaulding Neuromodulation Center, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA; School of Health Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
3
Spaulding Neuromodulation Center, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA; School of Technology and Management and Centre for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal.
4
Stroke Biological Recovery Laboratory, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA.
5
Spaulding Neuromodulation Center, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA. Electronic address: felipe.fregni@ppcr.hms.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that employs weak, pulsed current at different frequency ranges, inducing electrical currents that reach cortical and subcortical structures. Very little is known about its effects on brain oscillations and functional connectivity and whether these effects are dependent on the frequency of stimulation. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of tPCS with different frequency ranges in cortical oscillations indexed by high-resolution qEEG changes for power and interhemispheric coherence. Thirty-eight healthy subjects were enrolled and received a single 20-min session of either sham or active stimulation with 1 Hz, 100 Hz or random frequency (1-5 Hz). We conducted an exploratory analysis to detect changes in mean power for theta, alpha and beta, and interhemispheric coherence for alpha and theta and four different sub-bands cognitive and non-specific adverse effects were recorded. We found that active stimulation with a random frequency ranging between 1 and 5 Hz is able to significantly increase functional connectivity for the theta and low-alpha band as compared to sham and active stimulation with either 1 or 100 Hz. Based on these findings, we discuss the possible effects of tPCS on resting functional connectivity for low-frequency bands in fronto-temporal areas. Future studies should be conducted to investigate the potential benefit of these induced changes in pathologic states.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha coherence; Functional connectivity; Theta coherence; Transcranial pulsed current stimulation

PMID:
24937270
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2014.06.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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