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      Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for improving aphasia after stroke: a systematic review with network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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          Summary

          Background

          Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is an emerging approach for improving aphasia after stroke. However, it remains unclear what type of tDCS stimulation is most effective. Our aim was to give an overview of the evidence network regarding the efficacy and safety of tDCS and to estimate the effectiveness of the different stimulation types.

          Methods

          This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials with network meta-analysis (NMA). We searched the following databases until 4 February 2020: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, Web of Science, and four other databases. We included studies with adult people with stroke. We compared any kind of active tDCS (anodal, cathodal, or dual, that is applying anodal and cathodal tDCS concurrently) regarding improvement of our primary outcome of functional communication, versus control, after stroke. PROSPERO ID: CRD42019135696.

          Results

          We included 25 studies with 471 participants. Our NMA showed that tDCS did not improve our primary outcome, that of functional communication. There was evidence of an effect of anodal tDCS, particularly over the left inferior frontal gyrus, in improving our secondary outcome, that of performance in naming nouns (SMD = 0.51; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.90). There was no difference in safety between tDCS and its control interventions, measured by the number of dropouts and adverse events.

          Conclusion

          Comparing different application/protocols of tDCS shows that the anodal application, particularly over the left inferior frontal gyrus, seems to be the most promising tDCS treatment option to improve performance in naming in people with stroke.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Excitability changes induced in the human motor cortex by weak transcranial direct current stimulation.

          In this paper we demonstrate in the intact human the possibility of a non-invasive modulation of motor cortex excitability by the application of weak direct current through the scalp. Excitability changes of up to 40 %, revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation, were accomplished and lasted for several minutes after the end of current stimulation. Excitation could be achieved selectively by anodal stimulation, and inhibition by cathodal stimulation. By varying the current intensity and duration, the strength and duration of the after-effects could be controlled. The effects were probably induced by modification of membrane polarisation. Functional alterations related to post-tetanic potentiation, short-term potentiation and processes similar to postexcitatory central inhibition are the likely candidates for the excitability changes after the end of stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation using weak current may thus be a promising tool to modulate cerebral excitability in a non-invasive, painless, reversible, selective and focal way.
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            THE ACTION OF BRIEF POLARIZING CURRENTS ON THE CEREBRAL CORTEX OF THE RAT (1) DURING CURRENT FLOW AND (2) IN THE PRODUCTION OF LONG-LASTING AFTER-EFFECTS.

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              Transcranial pulsed ultrasound stimulates intact brain circuits.

              Electromagnetic-based methods of stimulating brain activity require invasive procedures or have other limitations. Deep-brain stimulation requires surgically implanted electrodes. Transcranial magnetic stimulation does not require surgery, but suffers from low spatial resolution. Optogenetic-based approaches have unrivaled spatial precision, but require genetic manipulation. In search of a potential solution to these limitations, we began investigating the influence of transcranial pulsed ultrasound on neuronal activity in the intact mouse brain. In motor cortex, ultrasound-stimulated neuronal activity was sufficient to evoke motor behaviors. Deeper in subcortical circuits, we used targeted transcranial ultrasound to stimulate neuronal activity and synchronous oscillations in the intact hippocampus. We found that ultrasound triggers TTX-sensitive neuronal activity in the absence of a rise in brain temperature (<0.01 degrees C). Here, we also report that transcranial pulsed ultrasound for intact brain circuit stimulation has a lateral spatial resolution of approximately 2 mm and does not require exogenous factors or surgical invasion. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                bernhard.elsner@tu-dresden.de
                Journal
                J Neuroeng Rehabil
                J Neuroeng Rehabil
                Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
                BioMed Central (London )
                1743-0003
                8 July 2020
                8 July 2020
                2020
                : 17
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.4488.0, ISNI 0000 0001 2111 7257, Department of Public Health, Dresden Medical School, , Technical University Dresden, ; Fetscherstr. 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany
                [2 ]Physiotherapy and Neurorehabilitation, SRH University of Applied Health Sciences Gera, Gera, Germany
                [3 ]GRID grid.491865.7, ISNI 0000 0001 0338 671X, Wissenschaftliches Institut, , Private Europäische Medizinische Akademie der Klinik Bavaria in Kreischa GmbH, ; Kreischa, Germany
                Article
                708
                10.1186/s12984-020-00708-z
                7346463
                32641152
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                Categories
                Review
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Neurosciences

                stroke, aphasia, transcranial direct current stimulation, review, meta-analysis

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