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Edemann-Callesen, Henriette; Habelt, Bettina; Wieske, Franziska; Jackson, Mark; Khadka, Niranjan; Mattei, Daniele; Bernhardt, Nadine; Heinz, Andreas; Liebetanz, David; Bikson, Marom; Padberg, Frank; Hadar, Ravit; Nitsche, Michael A.; Winter, Christine (2018): Non-invasive modulation reduces repetitive behavior in a rat model through the sensorimotor cortico-striatal circuit. In: Translational Psychiatry, Vol. 8, 11
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Involuntary movements as seen in repetitive disorders such as Tourette Syndrome (TS) results from cortical hyperexcitability that arise due to striato-thalamo-cortical circuit (STC) imbalance. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a stimulation procedure that changes cortical excitability, yet its relevance in repetitive disorders such as TS remains largely unexplored. Here, we employed the dopamine transporter-overexpressing (DAT-tg) rat model to investigate behavioral and neurobiological effects of frontal tDCS. The outcome of tDCS was pathology dependent, as anodal tDCS decreased repetitive behavior in the DAT-tg rats yet increased it in wild-type (wt) rats. Extensive deep brain stimulation (DBS) application and computational modeling assigned the response in DAT-tg rats to the sensorimotor pathway. Neurobiological assessment revealed cortical activity changes and increase in striatal inhibitory properties in the DAT-tg rats. Our findings show that tDCS reduces repetitive behavior in the DAT-tg rat through modulation of the sensorimotor STC circuit. This sets the stage for further investigating the usage of tDCS in repetitive disorders such as TS.