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Bolognini N.,Harvard University | Bolognini N.,University of Milan Bicocca | Vallar G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Casati C.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 10 more authors.
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Background. Recovery of motor function after stroke may depend on a balance of activity in the neural network involving the affected and the unaffected motor cortices. Objective. To assess whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can increase the training-induced recovery of motor functions. Methods. In an exploratory study, 14 patients with chronic stroke and mean Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity Motor Assessment of 29 (range = 8-50) entered a double-blind sham-controlled study, aimed to investigate neurophysiological and behavioral effects of bihemispheric tDCS (cathodal stimulation of the unaffected motor cortex and anodal stimulation of the affected motor cortex), combined with constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). Results. Patients in both groups demonstrated gains on primary outcome measures, that is, Jebsen Taylor Hand Function Test, Handgrip Strength, Motor Activity Log Scale, and Fugl-Meyer Motor Score. Gains were larger in the active tDCS group. Neurophysiological measurements showed a reduction in transcallosal inhibition from the intact to the affected hemisphere and increased corticospinal excitability in the affected hemisphere only in the active tDCS/CIMT group. Such neurophysiological changes correlated with the magnitude of the behavioral gains. Both groups showed a reduction in corticospinal excitability of the unaffected hemisphere. Conclusions. CIMT alone appears effective in modulating local excitability but not in removing the imbalance in transcallosal inhibition. Bihemispheric tDCS may achieve this goal and foster greater functional recovery. © 2011 American Society of Neurorehabilitation. Source

Mendonca M.E.,Harvard University | Santana M.B.,Harvard University | Baptista A.F.,Federal University of Bahia | Datta A.,City College of New York | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Pain

In this study we aimed to determine current distribution and short-term analgesic effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in fibromyalgia using different electrode montages. For each electrode montage, clinical effects were correlated with predictions of induced cortical current flow using magnetic resonance imaging-derived finite element method head model. Thirty patients were randomized into 5 groups (Cathodal-M1 [primary motor cortex], Cathodal-SO [supra-orbital area], Anodal-M1, Anodal-SO, and Sham) to receive tDCS application (2 mA, 20 minutes) using an extracephalic montage. Pain was measured using a visual numerical scale (VNS), pressure pain threshold (PPT), and a body diagram (BD) evaluating pain area. There was significant pain reduction in cathodal-SO and anodal-SO groups indexed by VNS. For PPT there was a trend for a similar effect in anodal-SO group. Computer simulation indicated that the M1-extracephalic montage produced dominantly temporo-parietal current flow, consistent with lack of clinical effects with this montage. Conversely, the SO-extracephalic montage produced current flow across anterior prefrontal structures, thus supporting the observed analgesic effects. Our clinical and modeling findings suggest that electrode montage, considering both electrodes, is critical for the clinical effects of M1-tDCS as electric current needs to be induced in areas associated with the pain matrix. These results should be taken into consideration for the design of pain tDCS studies. Perspective: Results in this article support that electrode montage is a critical factor to consider for the clinical application of tDCS for pain control, as there is an important correlation between the location of induced electrical current and tDCS-induced analgesic effects. © 2011 by the American Pain Society. Source

Villamar M.F.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Villamar M.F.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Contreras V.S.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Kuntz R.E.,Medtronic | Fregni F.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine

Objective: To conduct a systematic review evaluating the reporting of blinding in randomized controlled trials published in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation over two time periods. Data sources: We searched MEDLINE via PubMed for all randomized controlled trials published in American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Clinical Rehabilitation, Disability and Rehabilitation and (Scandinavian) Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine in the years 2000 and 2010. Study selection: We initially identified 222 articles, and 139 (62.6%) met our selection criteria. Data extraction: Two independent investigators collected data regarding study characteristics and blinding from each article. Consistency of data extraction was evaluated. Data synthesis: When comparing articles from 2010 and 2000, the former showed significantly higher rates for reporting of blinding, explicitly describing key persons' blinding status, and discussing the absence of blinding as a study limitation. There was a trend for lower reporting among trials with positive outcomes. No improvement was observed in other CONSORT-enforced parameters. Conclusions: Although the reporting of blinding in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation randomized controlled trials shows some improvement over the past decade, it still does not fulfill current recommendations. Given its critical role in determining internal validity, stricter enforcement of CONSORT guidelines is needed. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Shiozawa P.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Da Silva M.E.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Raza R.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Uchida R.R.,Santa Casa Medical School | And 4 more authors.
Journal of ECT

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique based on the application of a weak, direct electric current via 2 or more electrodes (anode and cathode) over the scalp. One concern when applying tDCS is skin burn. It has been suggested that skin lesions are related to changes in the local dermal homeostasis, and therefore, caution is warranted in patients with skin diseases (Loo et al [Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2011;14:425Y426]). In this context, we believe that it would be useful for this emerging field of tDCS to report the preliminary safety of repeated application of tDCS in a patient with vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder characterized by depigmentation sites of the skin or mucous membranes. We report the case of a 31-year-old male patient with schizophrenia who underwent 10-daily tDCS sessions. He has had generalized vitiligo since childhood, and despite previous treatment, no current dermatologic followup was being carried out. Depigmentation sites were evident in different areas, particularly under the anodal area. We found that repeated anodal tDCS in 1 patient did not lead to skin lesions when applied over a vitiligo skin area. Some of the procedures that we used to buffer changes in skin temperature may have contributed to prevent tDCS-induced skin damage. Nevertheless, the exact conditions that lead to skin lesion are still unknown. Given the growing use and testing of tDCS, continuous assessment and reporting of local adverse effects are still warranted especially in conditions with increased risk of skin lesions such as in dermatologic conditions, skin burns, and previous skin damage.Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Shiozawa P.,University of Sao Paulo | Shiozawa P.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Fregni F.,Harvard University | Bensenor I.M.,University of Sao Paulo | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

Transcranial direct cranial stimulation (tDCS) is a promising non-pharmacological intervention for treating major depressive disorder (MDD). However, results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses are mixed. Our aim was to assess the efficacy of tDCS as a treatment for MDD. We performed a systematic review in Medline and other databases from the first RCT available until January 2014. The main outcome was the Hedges' g for continuous scores; secondary outcomes were the odds ratio (ORs) to achieve response and remission. We used a random-effects model. Seven RCTs (n=259) were included, most with small sample sizes that assessed tDCS as either a monotherapy or as an add-on therapy. Active vs. sham tDCS was significantly superior for all outcomes (g=0.37; 95% CI 0.04-0.7; ORs for response and remission were, respectively, 1.63; 95% CI=1.26-2.12 and 2.50; 95% CI=1.26-2.49). Risk of publication bias was low. No predictors of response were identified, possibly owing to low statistical power. In summary, active tDCS was statistically superior to sham tDCS for the acute depression treatment, although its role as a clinical intervention is still unclear owing to the mixed findings and heterogeneity of the reviewed studies. Further RCTs with larger sample sizes and assessing tDCS efficacy beyond the acute depressive episode are warranted. © CINP 2014. Source

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