Rapid, Dose-Dependent Enhancement of tACS

Rapid, Dose-Dependent Enhancement of Cerebral Blood Flow by Transcranial AC Stimulation in Mouse.

BACKGROUND: Transcranial electrical stimulation at an appropriate dose may demonstrate intracranial effects, including neuronal stimulation and cerebral blood flow responses.
OBJECTIVE: We performed in vivo experiments on mouse cortex using transcranial alternating current [AC] stimulation to assess whether cerebral blood flow can be reliably altered by extracranial stimulation.
METHODS: We performed transcranial AC electrical stimulation transversely across the closed skull in anesthetized mice, measuring transcranial cerebral blood flow with a laser Doppler probe and intracranial electrical responses as endpoint biomarkers. We calculated a stimulation dose-response function between intracranial electric field and cerebral blood flow.
RESULTS: Stimulation at electric field amplitudes of 5-20 mV/mm at 10-20 Hz rapidly increased cerebral blood flow (within 100 ms), which then quickly decreased with no residual effects. The time to peak and blood flow shape varied with stimulation intensity and duration, showing a linear correlation between stimulation dose and peak blood flow increase. Neither afterdischarges nor spreading depression occurred from this level of stimulation.
CONCLUSIONS: Extracranial stimulation amplitudes sufficient to evoke reliable blood flow changes requires electric field strengths higher than what is tolerable in unanesthetized humans (<1 mV/mm), but less than electroconvulsive therapy levels (>40 mV/mm). However, anesthesia effects, spontaneous blood flow fluctuations, and sampling error may accentuate the apparent field strength needed for enhanced blood flow. The translation to a human dose-response function to augment cerebral blood flow (i.e., in stroke recovery) will require significant modification, potentially to pericranial, focused, multi-electrode application or intracranial stimulation.

PMID: 33217607 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Brain Stimul. 2020 Nov 17;:

Authors: Turner DA, Degan S, Galeffi F, Schmidt S, Peterchev AV





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