Comparison of transcranial electrical stimulation regimens for effects on inhibitory circuit activity

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Comparison of transcranial electrical stimulation regimens for effects on inhibitory circuit activity in primary somatosensory cortex and tactile spatial discrimination performance.

Behav Brain Res. 2019 Dec 16;375:112168

Authors: Saito K, Otsuru N, Inukai Y, Miyaguchi S, Yokota H, Kojima S, Sasaki R, Onishi H

Abstract
Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) can be used to modulate inhibitory circuits in primary somatosensory cortex, resulting in improved somatosensory function. However, efficacy may depend on the specific stimulus modality and patterns. For instance, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), and transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) were found to stably and effectively modulate neuronal excitability, while anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) appeared less effective overall but with substantial response heterogeneity among subjects. Therefore, we compared the effects of tES applied to primary somatosensory cortex on somatosensory evoked potential paired-pulse depression (SEP-PPD) and tactile discrimination performance in 17 neurologically healthy subjects. In Experiment 1, somatosensory evoked potential N20/P25_SEP-PPD, N20_SEP-PPD, and P25_SEP-PPD responses were assessed before and immediately after anodal tDCS, tACS (stimulation frequency, 140 Hz), tRNS (stimulation frequency, 0.1-640 Hz), anodal tPCS (pulse width, 50 ms; inter-pulse interval, 5 ms), and sham stimulation applied to primary somatosensory cortex. In Experiment 2, a grating orientation task (GOT) was performed before and immediately after the same anodal tDCS, tRNS, anodal tPCS, and sham stimulation regimens. Anodal tDCS and anodal tPCS decreased N20_SEP-PPD, and tRNS increased the first N20 SEP amplitude. Furthermore, tRNS and anodal tPCS decreased GOT discrimination threshold (improved performance). These results suggest that tRNS and anodal tPCS can improve sensory perception by modulating neuronal activity in primary somatosensory cortex.

PMID: 31442547 [PubMed – in process]

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