The following article requires a subscription:



(Format: HTML, PDF)

Defining optimal parameters for stimulation is a critical step in the development of noninvasive neuromodulation techniques. Transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) is emerging as another option in the field of neuromodulation; however, little is known about its mechanistic effects on electrical brain activity and how it can modulate its oscillatory patterns. The aim of this study was to identify the current intensity needed to exert an effect on quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) measurements. Forty healthy volunteers were randomized to receive a single session of sham or active stimulation at 0.2, 1, or 2 mA current intensity with a random frequency with an oscillatory pulsed range between 1 and 5 Hz. We conducted an exploratory frequency domain analysis to detect changes in absolute power for theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands and also interhemispheric coherence for alpha, theta, and four different sub-bands. Cognitive and nonspecific adverse effects were also recorded. Our results showed that both 1 and 2 mA can modulate interhemispheric coherence at the fronto-temporal areas for the theta band as compared with sham, while 2 mA also increased the low-beta and high-beta interhemispheric coherence at the same anatomical location. There were no group differences for adverse effects and participants could not guess correctly whether they received active versus sham stimulation. On the basis of our results, we conclude that tPCS is associated with an intensity-dependent facilitatory effect on interhemispheric connectivity. These results can guide future tPCS applications and will define its role as a neuromodulatory technique in the field.

(C) 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins