Effects of chronic antidepressant use on neurophysiological responses to tDCS

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Effects of chronic antidepressant use on neurophysiological responses to tDCS post-stroke.

Neurosci Lett. 2019 Dec 24;:134723

Authors: Li X, Morton SM

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces neuroplastic changes in the motor cortex of healthy individuals and has become a candidate intervention to promote recovery post-stroke. However, neurophysiological effects of tDCS in stroke are poorly understood. Antidepressant medications, which are commonly prescribed post-stroke, have the potential to significantly affect cortical excitability and alter responsiveness to tDCS interventions, yet these effects have not previously been examined.
OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS: To examine the effects of chronic antidepressant use, tDCS, and the interaction of the two on motor cortical excitability in people with chronic stroke. Based on previous literature in nondisabled adults, we hypothesized that post-stroke, antidepressant-takers would show decreased baseline motor cortical excitability but enhanced responsiveness to anodal tDCS.
METHODS: Twenty-six participants with chronic stroke (17 control, 9 antidepressant) received real and sham anodal tDCS during separate sessions at least a week apart. Motor cortical excitability was measured before and after tDCS was applied to the lesioned hemisphere primary motor cortex. We compared baseline cortical excitability and neurophysiological responses to tDCS between groups and sessions.
RESULTS: Baseline motor cortical excitability was not different between control and antidepressant groups. Following anodal tDCS over the ipsilesional primary motor cortex, cortical excitability in the non-lesioned hemisphere decreased in controls, but, surprisingly, increased in antidepressant-takers.
CONCLUSIONS: Chronic antidepressant use may not affect motor cortical excitability post-stroke, however it appears to reverse some of the expected effects of tDCS. Therefore future utilization of tDCS in post-stroke neurorehabilitation research should take antidepressant medication status into account.

PMID: 31881255 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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