Effect of tDCS on cognitive function in stroke patients

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Effect of transcranial direct-current stimulation on cognitive function in stroke patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Transcranial direct-current stimulation ( tDCS) is a noninvasive approach that can alter brain excitability. Several studies have shown the effectiveness of tDCS in improving language and movement function in stroke patients. However, the effect of tDCS on cognitive function after stroke remains uncertain.
METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, the China Science and Technology Journal Database, and the Wanfang Data Knowledge Service Platform from inception to April 2, 2019. Two reviewers independently screened the studies, extracted the data, and evaluated the quality of the included studies using the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool. All statistical analyses were performed in RevMan 5.3, and the mean difference (MD) or standard mean difference (SMD) were used as the pooled statistics.
RESULTS: Fifteen studies involving 820 participants were included. When compared with passive tDCS, anodal tDCS was associated with improved general cognitive performance as examined by the Minimum Mental State Examination or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (SMD = 1.31, 95% CI 0.91-1.71, P < 0.00001), attention performance (SMD = 0.66, 95% CI 0.11-1.20, P = 0.02). There was no significant difference in memory performance (SMD = 0.41, 95% CI -0.67-1.50, P = 0.46).
CONCLUSIONS: tDCS is likely to be effective for patients with cognitive impairment after stroke. The evidence for different effects based on population characteristics and stimulation methods was limited, but a real effect cannot be ruled out. More high-quality research in this field is required to determine the potential benefits of tDCS in the treatment of cognitive deficits after stroke and to establish the optimal treatment program.

PMID: 32516316 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

PLoS One. 2020;15(6):e0233903

Authors: Yan RB, Zhang XL, Li YH, Hou JM, Chen H, Liu HL

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