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Gordon, Pedro Caldana; Zrenner, Christoph; Desideri, Debora; Belardinelli, Paolo; Zrenner, Brigitte; Brunoni, Andre Russowsky; Ziemann, Ulf (2018): Modulation of cortical responses by transcranial direct current stimulation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: A resting-state EEG and TMS-EEG study. In: Brain Stimulation, Vol. 11, No. 5: pp. 1024-1032
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Abstract

Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique with potential for cost-effective therapeutic neuromodulation. Although positive therapeutic effects were found by stimulating the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), few studies have investigated physiological effects of DLPFC-tDCS. Objectives: To investigate effects of tDCS with different parameter settings applied to the left DLPFC on cortical responses, measured by resting-state electroencephalography (rs-EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-evoked/induced EEG responses. Methods: 22 healthy subjects underwent 5 tDCS sessions with different tDCS parameter settings in a double-blinded randomized crossover design (1: 1.5 mA, anode left-DLPFC, cathode right-DLPFC;2: 1.5 mA, cathode left-DLPFC, anode right-DLPFC;3: 0.5 mA, anode left-DLPFC, cathode right-DLPFC;4: 1.5 mA, anode left-DLPFC, cathode left deltoid muscle;5: sham stimulation). Rs-EEG and TMS-EEG were recorded before and after tDCS. Results: Rs-EEG power spectrum analysis showed no difference comparing baseline with post stimulation in any of the tDCS conditions. TMS-EEG evoked potential amplitude decreased in parietal cortex after 1.5mA left-DLPFC anodal tDCS, and TMS-induced gamma and theta oscillations decreased after all conditions using left-DLPFC anodal tDCS. Left-DLPFC cathodal tDCS did not lead to significant change. None of the post-intervention changes was different when comparing the effects across conditions, including sham. Conclusions: Our study does not provide evidence that a single tDCS session results in significant changes in rs-EEG, using the current stimulation parameters. Significant changes in EEG responses to TMS pulses were observed following the anodal 1.5 mA tDCS interventions, although these changes were not statistically significant in a group comparison.