Immediate and Differential Response to Emotional Stimuli Associated With Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Depression: A Visual-Search Task Pilot Study
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:When administered in repeated daily doses, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) directed to the prefrontal cortex has cumulative efficacy for the treatment of depression. Depression can be marked by altered processing of emotionally salient information. An acute marker of response to tDCS may be measured as an immediate change in emotional information processing. Using an easily administered web-based task, we tested immediate changes in emotional information processing in acute response to tDCS in participants with and without depression. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We enrolled n = 21 women with mild-to-moderate depression and n = 20 controls without depression to complete a web-based visual search task before and after 30 minutes of tDCS directed to the prefrontal cortex. The timed task required participants to identify a target face among arrays showing sad, neutral, or mixed (distractor) expressions. RESULTS:At baseline, as predicted, the participants with depression differed from those without in emotional processing speed (mean z score difference -0.66 ± 0.27, p = 0.022) and accuracy in identifying sad stimuli (error rate: 4.4% vs 1.8%, p = 0.039). In response to tDCS, the participants with depression became significantly faster on the distractor condition (pre- vs post-tDCS z scores: -0.45 ± 0.65 vs -0.85 ± 0.65, p = 0.009), suggesting a specific reduction in bias toward negative emotional information. In response to tDCS, the depressed group also had significant improvements in self-reported mood (increased happy, decreased sad and anxious mood). CONCLUSIONS:Participants with depression vs those without were differentiated by their performance of the visual search task at baseline and in response to tDCS. Given that measurable effects on depression scales may require weeks of tDCS treatments, acute change in emotional information processing can serve as an easily obtainable marker of depression and its response to tDCS. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:The Clinicaltrials.gov registration number for the study is NCT05188248.
Moving intra-individual variability (IIV) towards clinical utility: IIV measured using a commercial testing platform
OBJECTIVES:Intra-individual variability (IIV), measured across repeated response times (RT) during continuous psychomotor tasks, is an early marker of cognitive change in the context of neurodegeneration. To advance IIV towards broader application in clinical research, we evaluated IIV from a commercial cognitive testing platform and compared it to the calculation approaches used in experimental cognitive studies. METHODS:-transformed standard deviation or "LSD"). We calculated IIV from the raw RTs using coefficient of variation (CoV), regression-based, and ex-Gaussian methods. The IIV from each calculation was then compared by rank across participants. RESULTS:A total of n = 120 participants with MS aged 20-72 (Mean ± SD, 48.99 ± 12.09) completed the baseline cognitive measures. For each task, the interclass correlation coefficient was generated. Each ICC showed that LSD, CoV, ex-Gaussian, and regression methods clustered strongly (Average ICC for DET: 0.95 with 95% CI [0.93, 0.96]; Average ICC for IDN: 0.92 with 95% CI [0.88 to 0.93]; Average ICC for ONB: 0.93 with 95% CI [0.90 to 0.94]). Correlational analyses indicated the strongest correlation between LSD and CoV for all tasks (rs ≥ 0.94). CONCLUSION:The LSD was consistent with research-based methods for IIV calculations. These findings support the use of LSD for the future measurement of IIV for clinical studies.
Hand Dexterity Improves in Patients with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with Telerehabilitation Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) [Meeting Abstract]
Abstract Background: Loss of hand dexterity is disabling and reduces quality of life. People living with progressive forms of MS have marked neurologic disabilities but limited rehabilitation options. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a method of noninvasive brain stimulation in which stimulation delivered during motor training can strengthen outcomes. We have established a remotely supervised tDCS (RS-tDCS) protocol that delivers multiple stimulation sessions paired with training to participants at home.
Objective(s): To evaluate a blinded randomized sham-controlled clinical trial of active vs. sham tDCS paired with manual dexterity training for people with progressive MS.
Method(s): We recruited right-hand dominant individuals with progressive MS and hand dexterity impairment. Participants completed 20 sessions of daily (M-F) manual dexterity and were randomized to either active (2.0 mA) or sham primary motor cortex (M1-SO) tDCS. Manual dexterity was measured with the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9HPT) and Dellon-Modified Moberg Pick-Up test (MMPUT) at baseline and study end and transformed to normative z-scores for comparison.
Result(s): Participants were n=60 with primary (32%) or secondary (68%) progressive MS (52% female, ages 37-72 years, and a median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 5.0 [1.5-7.5]). The intervention was safe and well tolerated, with n=59/60 (98%) completing 18/20 daily sessions. Combining hands and tasks, the full group improved following the manual dexterity training (mean z-score improvement 1.64+/-9.53, p=0.016). Active tDCS led to greater improvement (mean z-score improvement 4.51+/-8.78, p=0.001). Analyzing those with right- or left-hand impairment at baseline, the active tDCS group had significant improvement on the 9HPT (Right: p=0.036, Left: p=0.028) and trended towards significant improvement for the MMPUT (Right: p=0.071, Left: p=0.079).
Conclusion(s): At-home manual dexterity training paired with tDCS is a safe, tolerable, and feasible intervention for people with progressive MS and hand impairment. Training outcomes are augmented with simultaneous M1-SO tDCS. Research Category and Technology and Methods Clinical Research: 9. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Keywords: tDCS, motor training, multiple sclerosis, teleintervention
Remotely Supervised tDCS for Persistent Post-Traumatic Headache in Veterans (ReStore) [Meeting Abstract]
Abstract Objectives: Evaluate feasibility and preliminary efficacy of remotely supervised transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (RS-tDCS) interventions for persistent post-traumatic headache (PPTH) secondary to mild TBI (mTBI).
Method(s): Veterans with PPTH completed a 28-day baseline observation of headache days and received either active or sham RS-tDCS paired with mindfulness meditation. This 4-week intervention of 20-minutes daily (M-F) RS-tDCS (anodal stimulation dlPFC) was monitored via VA Video Connect. Feasibility was determined by the number of participants completing >=80% of the intervention. Efficacy was measured by changes in number of moderate/severe headache days from baseline period to the end of treatment phase, and 4-week post-treatment follow-up. Secondary endpoints included total number of headache days, acute pain medication use, as well as headache- and mTBI-related disability.
Result(s): Twenty-six veterans (46.6+/-8.7 years) with PPTH completed baseline observations and were randomized to either active (n=13) or sham (n=13) treatment groups. A total of 22/25 (88%) participants fully completed either active (10/12) or sham (12/13) interventions (p=.0.59). Within-group analyses reveled significant reductions in moderate/severe headache days in the active (p=0.04) but not sham (p=0.54) groups. This resulted in a trend towards significant reductions in moderate/severe headache days in the active vs. sham groups (p = 0.07). Active participants also demonstrated a reduction in total number of headache days during treatment (p=0.04) where the sham group did not (p=0.70). There is statistically significant reduction in total number of headache days during treatment for active vs. sham participants (p=0.03). No significant differences were maintained during the 4-week post-treatment follow-up (p's>0.05).
Conclusion(s): RS-tDCS treatment feasible with high adherence and effective for veterans with PPTH. Findings suggest that active RS-tDCS via dlPFC reduce headache frequency and improve clinical outcomes. A larger phase II study is warranted to confirm these findings and inform evaluation for clinical use. Research Category and Technology and Methods Clinical Research: 9. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Keywords: tDCS, Persistent Post-traumatic headache, Veterans, mTBI
Non-invasive brain stimulation for fatigue in post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC)
BACKGROUND:and purpose: Fatigue is among the most common persistent symptoms following post-acute sequelae of Sars-COV-2 infection (PASC). The current study investigated the potential therapeutic effects of High-Definition transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS) associated with rehabilitation program for the management of PASC-related fatigue. METHODS:Seventy patients with PASC-related fatigue were randomized to receive 3 mA or sham HD-tDCS targeting the left primary motor cortex (M1) for 30 min paired with a rehabilitation program. Each patient underwent 10 sessions (2 sessions/week) over five weeks. Fatigue was measured as the primary outcome before and after the intervention using the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS). Pain level, anxiety severity and quality of life were secondary outcomes assessed, respectively, through the McGill Questionnaire, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and WHOQOL. RESULTS:Active HD-tDCS resulted in significantly greater reduction in fatigue compared to sham HD-tDCS (mean group MFIS reduction of 22.11 points vs 10.34 points). Distinct effects of HD-tDCS were observed in fatigue domains with greater effect on cognitive (mean group difference 8.29 points; effect size 1.1; 95% CI 3.56-13.01; P < .0001) and psychosocial domains (mean group difference 2.37 points; effect size 1.2; 95% CI 1.34-3.40; P < .0001), with no significant difference between the groups in the physical subscale (mean group difference 0.71 points; effect size 0.1; 95% CI 4.47-5.90; P = .09). Compared to sham, the active HD-tDCS group also had a significant reduction in anxiety (mean group difference 4.88; effect size 0.9; 95% CI 1.93-7.84; P < .0001) and improvement in quality of life (mean group difference 14.80; effect size 0.7; 95% CI 7.87-21.73; P < .0001). There was no significant difference in pain (mean group difference -0.74; no effect size; 95% CI 3.66-5.14; P = .09). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:An intervention with M1 targeted HD-tDCS paired with a rehabilitation program was effective in reducing fatigue and anxiety, while improving quality of life in people with PASC.
Remotely supervised at-home tDCS for veterans with persistent post-traumatic headache: a double-blind, sham-controlled randomized pilot clinical trial
Background: Currently, there are no FDA approved therapies for persistent post-traumatic headache (PPTH) secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI). As such neither headache nor TBI specialists have an effective means to manage PPTH. Thus, the objective of the present pilot trial was to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a four-week at-home remotely supervised transcranial direct current stimulation (RS-tDCS) intervention for veterans with PPTH.
Method(s): Twenty-five (m = 46.6 +/- 8.7 years) veterans with PPTH were randomized into two groups and received either active (n = 12) or sham (n = 13) RS-tDCS, with anodal stimulation over left dlPFC and cathodal over occipital pole. Following a four-week baseline, participants completed 20-sessions of active or sham RS-tDCS with real-time video monitoring over a period of four-weeks. Participants were assessed again at the end of the intervention and at four-weeks post-intervention. Primary outcomes were overall adherence rate (feasibility) and change in moderate-to-severe headache days per month (efficacy). Secondary outcomes were changes in total number of headache days, and PPTH-related functional outcomes.
Result(s): Adherence rate was high with 88% of participants (active = 10/12; sham = 12/13) fully completing tDCS interventions. Importantly, there was no significant difference in adherence between active and sham groups (p = 0.59). Moderate-to-severe headache days were significantly reduced within the active RS-tDCS group (p = 0.004), compared to sham during treatment (-2.5 +/- 3.5 vs. 2.3 +/- 3.4), and 4-week follow-up (-3.9 +/- 6.4 vs. 1.2 +/- 6.5). Total number of headache days was significantly reduced within the active RS-tDCS (p = 0.03), compared to sham during-treatment (-4.0 +/- 5.2 vs. 1.5 +/- 3.8), and 4-week follow-up (-2.1 +/- 7.2 vs. -0.2 +/- 4.4).
Conclusion(s): The current results indicate our RS-tDCS paradigm provides a safe and effective means for reducing the severity and number of headache days in veterans with PPTH. High treatment adherence rate and the remote nature of our paradigm indicate RS-tDCS may be a feasible means to reduce PPTH, especially for veterans with limited access to medical facilities. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier [NCT04012853].
Remotely supervised at-home tDCS for veterans with persistent post-traumatic headache: a double-blind, sham-controlled randomized pilot clinical trial
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Currently, there are no FDA approved therapies for persistent post-traumatic headache (PPTH) secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI). As such neither headache nor TBI specialists have an effective means to manage PPTH. Thus, the objective of the present pilot trial was to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a four-week at-home remotely supervised transcranial direct current stimulation (RS-tDCS) intervention for veterans with PPTH. METHODS/UNASSIGNED: = 13) RS-tDCS, with anodal stimulation over left dlPFC and cathodal over occipital pole. Following a four-week baseline, participants completed 20-sessions of active or sham RS-tDCS with real-time video monitoring over a period of four-weeks. Participants were assessed again at the end of the intervention and at four-weeks post-intervention. Primary outcomes were overall adherence rate (feasibility) and change in moderate-to-severe headache days per month (efficacy). Secondary outcomes were changes in total number of headache days, and PPTH-related functional outcomes. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED: = 0.03), compared to sham during-treatment (-4.0 ± 5.2 vs. 1.5 ± 3.8), and 4-week follow-up (-2.1 ± 7.2 vs. -0.2 ± 4.4). CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:The current results indicate our RS-tDCS paradigm provides a safe and effective means for reducing the severity and number of headache days in veterans with PPTH. High treatment adherence rate and the remote nature of our paradigm indicate RS-tDCS may be a feasible means to reduce PPTH, especially for veterans with limited access to medical facilities.Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier [NCT04012853].
Digitalized transcranial electrical stimulation: A consensus statement
OBJECTIVE:Although relatively costly and non-scalable, non-invasive neuromodulation interventions are treatment alternatives for neuropsychiatric disorders. The recent developments of highly-deployable transcranial electric stimulation (tES) systems, combined with mobile-Health technologies, could be incorporated in digital trials to overcome methodological barriers and increase equity of access. The study aims are to discuss the implementation of tES digital trials by performing a systematic scoping review and strategic process mapping, evaluate methodological aspects of tES digital trial designs, and provide Delphi-based recommendations for implementing digital trials using tES. METHODS:We convened 61 highly-productive specialists and contacted 8 tES companies to assess 71 issues related to tES digitalization readiness, and processes, barriers, advantages, and opportunities for implementing tES digital trials. Delphi-based recommendations (>60% agreement) were provided. RESULTS:The main strengths/opportunities of tES were: (i) non-pharmacological nature (92% of agreement), safety of these techniques (80%), affordability (88%), and potential scalability (78%). As for weaknesses/threats, we listed insufficient supervision (76%) and unclear regulatory status (69%). Many issues related to methodological biases did not reach consensus. Device appraisal showed moderate digitalization readiness, with high safety and potential for trial implementation, but low connectivity. CONCLUSIONS:Panelists recognized the potential of tES for scalability, generalizability, and leverage of digital trials processes; with no consensus about aspects regarding methodological biases. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:We further propose and discuss a conceptual framework for exploiting shared aspects between mobile-Health tES technologies with digital trials methodology to drive future efforts for digitizing tES trials.
Combination of transcranial direct current stimulation with online cognitive training improves symptoms of Post-acute Sequelae of COVID-19: A case series [Letter]
A new look at cognitive functioning in pediatric MS
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Cognitive involvement in pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) relative to adult MS is less defined. This study advances our understanding by measuring cognitive performances in pediatric MS, adult MS, and pediatric healthy controls. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Consecutive relapsing pediatric MS participants from the United States Network of Pediatric MS Centers were compared with pediatric healthy controls and adults with relapsing MS. Participants were compared on two screening batteries: the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS and the Cogstate Brief Battery. Results were transformed to age-normative z scores. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:â€‰<â€‰0.001). CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:Pediatric MS patients do not differ from healthy pediatric controls on cognitive screens but perform better than adults with MS.