Can accelerated tDCS improve memory functions?

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Can accelerated transcranial direct current stimulation improve memory functions? An experimental, placebo-controlled study.

Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate whether transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) could improve verbal memory functions in healthy old and younger participants. We hypothesized that active tDCS led to significantly improved memory function, compared to placebo tDCS. Forty healthy participants (20 old and 20 younger participants) were included in the study. We applied a novel stimulation protocol, where six sessions of anodal tDCS were administrated during two consecutive days. Each tDCS session lasted 30 min. The current intensity was 2mA and the stimulation area was the left temporal lobe at T3 in the 10-20 EEG system. Immediate recall, delayed recall and recognition memory were assessed with California Verbal Learning Test II (CVLT-II) and executive functions were assessed with the Trail Making Test (TMT) before the first tDCS session and after the last tDCS session. Half of the participants received placebo tDCS, whereas the other half received active tDCS. We did not reveal any significant differences between active and placebo tDCS in memory functions. However, there was a significant difference between active and placebo tDCS in executive function measured by the Trail Making Test (TMT). This experimental study failed to reveal significant differences between active and placebo accelerated tDCS for verbal memory functions. However, accelerated tDCS was found to be well-tolerated in this study.

PMID: 33033765 [PubMed]

Heliyon. 2020 Oct;6(10):e05132

Authors: Bystad M, Storø B, Gundersen N, Wiik IL, Nordvang L, Grønli O, Rasmussen ID, Aslaksen PM

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