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Heart Rate Variability (HRV) serves as an objective correlate of distress and symptom burden in multiple sclerosis

Pilloni, Giuseppina; Best, Pamela; Kister, Ilya; Charvet, Leigh
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction is frequently seen in people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Heart rate variability (HRV) is an easy and objective index for evaluating ANS functioning, and it has been previously used to explore the association between ANS and the experience of symptom burden in other chronic diseases. Given ANS functioning can be influenced by physical and psychological factors, this study investigated whether emotional distress and/or the presence of ANS dysfunction is associated with symptom severity in people living with MS. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Participants with MS and healthy controls (HC) with no history of cardiac conditions were recruited to self-collect HR data sampled from a chest strap HR monitor (PolarH10). Short-term HR signal was collected for five minutes, and time and frequency HRV analyses were performed and compared between groups. HRV values were then compared to self-reported distress (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale) and MS participants' self-reported measures of symptom burden (SymptoMScreen). RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:= 0.007). A significant mediation effect was also observed, with emotional distress fully mediating the association between HRV and symptom burden. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:These findings suggest the potential for ANS dysfunction, as measured by HRV (i.e., lower value of HF power), to be utilized as an objective marker of symptom burden in people living with MS. Moreover, it is apparent that the relationship between HRV and symptom burden is mediated by emotional distress.
PMID: 38525015
ISSN: 2174-0852
CID: 5644422

Immediate and Differential Response to Emotional Stimuli Associated With Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Depression: A Visual-Search Task Pilot Study

Pilloni, Giuseppina; Cho, Hyein; Tian, Tian Esme; Beringer, Joerg; Bikson, Marom; Charvet, Leigh
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 registration number for the study is NCT05188248.
PMID: 37598327
ISSN: 1525-1403
CID: 5598122

Moving intra-individual variability (IIV) towards clinical utility: IIV measured using a commercial testing platform

Cho, Hyein; Pilloni, Giuseppina; Tahsin, Raisa; Best, Pamela; Krupp, Lauren; Oh, Cheongeun; Charvet, Leigh
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.
PMID: 36812823
ISSN: 1878-5883
CID: 5430202

Hand Dexterity Improves in Patients with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with Telerehabilitation Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) [Meeting Abstract]

Charvet, L; Pilloni, G; Lustberg, M; Malik, M; Feinberg, C; Gutman, J; Krupp, L; Raghavan, P
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
ISSN: 1876-4754
CID: 5511542

Home-administered transcranial direct current stimulation is a feasible intervention for depression: an observational cohort study

Charvet, Leigh; George, Allan; Charlson, Erik; Lustberg, Matthew; Vogel-Eyny, Amy; Eilam-Stock, Tehila; Cho, Hyein; Best, Pamela; Fernandez, Luis; Datta, Abhishek; Bikson, Marom; Nazim, Kamran; Pilloni, Giuseppina
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an emerging treatment for major depression. We recruited participants with moderate-to-severe major depressive episodes for an observational clinical trial using Soterix Medical's tDCS telehealth platform as a standard of care. The acute intervention consisted of 28 sessions (5 sessions/week, 6 weeks) of the left anodal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) tDCS (2.0 mA × 30 min) followed by a tapering phase of weekly sessions for 4 weeks (weeks 7-10). The n = 16 completing participants had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms by week 2 of treatment [Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Baseline: 28.00 ± 4.35 vs. Week 2: 17.12 ± 5.32, p < 0.001] with continual improvement across each biweekly timepoint. Acute intervention responder and remission rates were 75 and 63% and 88 and 81% following the taper period (week 10).
PMID: 37674552
ISSN: 1664-0640
CID: 5602552

Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) changes measured with simultaneous tDCS-MRI in healthy adults

Muccio, Marco; Walton Masters, Lillian; Pilloni, Giuseppina; He, Peidong; Krupp, Lauren; Datta, Abhishek; Bikson, Marom; Charvet, Leigh; Ge, Yulin
BACKGROUND:Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a safe and well-tolerated noninvasive technique used for cortical excitability modulation. tDCS has been extensively investigated for its clinical applications; however further understanding of its underlying in-vivo physiological mechanisms remains a fundamental focus of current research. OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:) using simultaneous MRI in healthy adults to provide a reference frame for its neurobiological mechanisms. METHODS:at three time points: pre-, during- and post- 15 minutes of 2.0 mA tDCS on left anodal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. RESULTS:significantly increased by 5.9 % during-tDCS (175.68 ± 30.78 µmol/100g/min) compared to pre-tDCS (165.84 ± 25.32 µmol/100g/min; p = 0.0015), maintaining increased levels in post-tDCS (176.86 ± 28.58 µmol/100g/min). CONCLUSIONS:changes due to tDCS in healthy adults that may be incorporated in clinical studies to evaluate its therapeutic potential.
PMID: 36150457
ISSN: 1872-6240
CID: 5335782

Potential of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease: Optimizing Trials Toward Clinical Use

Pilloni, Giuseppina; Charvet, Leigh E; Bikson, Marom; Palekar, Nikhil; Kim, Min-Jeong
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a safe and well-tolerated noninvasive method for stimulating the brain that is rapidly developing into a treatment method for various neurological and psychiatric conditions. In particular, there is growing evidence of a therapeutic role for tDCS in ameliorating or delaying the cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We provide a brief overview of the current development and application status of tDCS as a nonpharmacological therapeutic method for AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), summarize the levels of evidence, and identify the improvements needed for clinical applications. We also suggest future directions for large-scale controlled clinical trials of tDCS in AD and MCI, and emphasize the necessity of identifying the mechanistic targets to facilitate clinical applications.
PMID: 35796264
ISSN: 1738-6586
CID: 5280512

Tolerability and feasibility of at-home remotely supervised transcranial direct current stimulation (RS-tDCS): Single-center evidence from 6,779 sessions

Pilloni, Giuseppina; Vogel-Eyny, Amy; Lustberg, Matthew; Best, Pamela; Malik, Martin; Walton-Masters, Lillian; George, Allan; Mirza, Ibraheem; Zhovtis, Lana; Datta, Abhishek; Bikson, Marom; Krupp, Lauren; Charvet, Leigh
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The ability to deploy transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) at home is a key usability advantage to support scaling for pivotal clinical trials. We have established a home-based tDCS protocol for use in clinical trials termed remotely supervised (RS)-tDCS. OBJECTIVE:To report the tolerability and feasibility of tDCS sessions completed to date using RS-tDCS in clinical trials. METHODS:We analyzed tolerability (i.e., adverse events, AEs) reported in six Class I/II/III trials using RS-tDCS to study symptom outcomes over 10 to 60 daily applications. Across the six clinical trials, 308 participants (18-78 years old) completed an average of 23 sessions for a total of 6779 RS-tDCS administrations. The majority of participants were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and open-label trials included those diagnosed with a range of other conditions (e.g., Parkinson's disease, post-stroke aphasia, traumatic brain injury, cerebellar ataxia), with minimum-to-severe neurologic disability. Clinical trial feasibility (i.e., treatment fidelity and blinding integrity) was examined using two Class I randomized controlled trials (RCTs). RESULTS:No serious AEs occurred. Across administrations, three sessions (0.04%) were aborted due to discomfort, but no participant discontinued due to tolerability. The AEs most commonly reported by participants were tingling (68%), itching (41%) and warmth sensation (42%) at the electrode site, and these were equally reported in active and sham tDCS conditions. The two Class I RCTs resulted in rapid enrollment, high fidelity to treatment completion, and blinding integrity. CONCLUSIONS:At-home RS-tDCS is tolerable, including when used over extended periods of time. Home-based RS-tDCS is feasible and can enable Class I tDCS clinical trial designs.
PMID: 35470019
ISSN: 1876-4754
CID: 5217352

Factors supporting availability of home-based Neuromodulation using remote supervision in middle-income countries; Brazil experience [Letter]

Silva-Filho, Edson; Pilloni, Giuseppina; Charvet, Leigh E; Fregni, Felipe; Brunoni, André R; Bikson, Marom
PMID: 35181531
ISSN: 1876-4754
CID: 5163722

Cognitive Functioning in MS Improves with At-Home Online Training Paired with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): Results from a Sham-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial [Meeting Abstract]

Charvet, L.; Best, P.; Lustberg, M.; Pilloni, G.; Shaw, M.; Zhovtis, L.; Li, X.; Goldberg, J.; Gutman, J. M.; Krupp, L.
ISSN: 1352-4585
CID: 5244212