tDCS on Object-Location Memory in Healthy Older Adults

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Impact of 3-Day Combined Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation-Visuospatial Training on Object-Location Memory in Healthy Older Adults and Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Associative object-location memory (OLM) is known to decline even in normal aging, and this process is accelerated in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Given the lack of curative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, activating cognitive resources during its preclinical phase might prevent progression to dementia.).
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS) combined with an associative episodic memory training on OLM in MCI patients and in healthy elderly (HE).
METHODS: In a single-blind cross-over design, 16 MCI patients and 32 HE underwent a 3-day visuospatial OLM training paired with either 20 min or 30 s (sham) atDCS (1 mA, right temporoparietal cortex). Effects on immediate (training success) and long-term memory (1-month) were investigated by conducting Mixed Model analyses. In addition, the impact of combined intervention on within-session (online) and on between-session (offline) performance were explored.
RESULTS: OLM training+atDCS enhanced training success only in MCI patients, but not HE (difference n.s.). Relative performance gain was similar in MCI patients compared to HE under atDCS. No beneficial effect was found after 1 month. Exploratory analyses suggested a positive impact for online, but a negative effect on offline performance in MCI patients. In both groups, exploratory post-hoc analyses indicated an association between initially low-performers and greater benefit from atDCS.
CONCLUSION: Cognitive training in MCI may be enhanced by atDCS, but further delineation of the impact of current brain state, as well as temporal characteristics of multi-session atDCS-training application, may be needed to induce longer-lasting effects.

PMID: 32280093 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

J Alzheimers Dis. 2020 Apr 04;:

Authors: de Sousa AVC, Grittner U, Rujescu D, Külzow N, Flöel A

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