tDCS modulates fatigue in multiple sclerosis

Bifrontal transcranial direct current stimulation modulates fatigue in multiple sclerosis: a randomized sham-controlled study.

Fatigue is a frequent and debilitating symptom in patients with central nervous system diseases. Up to 90% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer from fatigue that drastically affects the quality of life. MS patients also complain of anxiety and depressive symptoms and these three manifestations tend to cluster together in this clinical population. The objective of this work was to assess the effects of transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technique, on fatigue as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms. Eleven fatigued MS patients randomly received two blocks (active and sham tDCS) of five consecutive daily sessions of bifrontal tDCS (anode/cathode over the left/right prefrontal cortices, respectively) in a crossover manner, separated by a 3-week washout interval. Evaluation took place at day 1, day 5 (right after each block) and 1 week later. Active but not sham tDCS resulted in a significant improvement of fatigue at day 5 (p < 0.05), an effect that seems to last at least 1 week following the stimulation (p = 0.05). Active tDCS also significantly improved anxiety symptoms, but the effect emerged 1 week later (p < 0.05). No significant effects were obtained regarding depression (p > 0.05). Bifrontal tDCS seems to modulate fatigue in PwMS. The observed anxiolytic effects could constitute delayed after effects of tDCS or might be mediated by fatigue improvement. These findings merit to be addressed in large-scale controlled trials.

PMID: 32161992 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2020 Mar 11;:

Authors: Chalah MA, Grigorescu C, Padberg F, Kümpfel T, Palm U, Ayache SS




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