Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Enhances the Excitability of Trigemino-Facial Reflex Circuits




Curated By TMS Solutions on Apr 1, 2016 8:48:00 AM
Curated By TMS Solutions

 

Title:

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Enhances the Excitability of Trigemino-Facial Reflex Circuits.

Source:

Cabib C; Cipullo F; Morales M; Valls-Sole J.
Brain Stimulation. 9(2):218-24, 2016 Mar-Apr.
[Journal Article. Randomized Controlled Trial. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't] UI: 26831734

Background:

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) causes a tiny burning sensation through activation of local cutaneous trigeminal afferents.

Hypothesis:

Trigeminal sensory inputs from tDCS may generate excitability changes in the trigemino-facial reflex circuits.

Objectives and Methods:

Sixteen healthy volunteers were submitted to 20 minutes tDCS sessions with two types of electrode- montage conditions: 1. Real vs Sham 'bi-hemispheric' tDCS (cathode/anode: C4/C3), for blinded assessment of effects, and 2. 'uni- hemispheric' tDCS (cathode/anode: Fp3/C3), for assessment of laterality of the effects. Supraorbital nerve stimuli were used to obtain blink reflexes before, during (10 minutes from onset) and after (30 minutes from onset) the tDCS session. Outcome measures were R2 habituation (R2H) to repeated stimuli, the blink reflex excitability recovery (BRER) to paired stimuli and the blink reflex inhibition by a prepulse (BRIP).

Results:

Real but not sham bi-hemispheric tDCS caused a significant decrease of R2H and leftward shift of BRER curve (p < 0.05 for all measures). The effects of uni-hemispheric tDCS on BRER and BRIP were larger on ipsilateral than on contralateral blink reflexes (p < 0.05). Excitability changes were still present 10 minutes after the end of stimulation in a lesser extent.

Conclusions:

This study shows that 20 minute tDCS enhances the excitability of trigemino-facial reflex circuits. The finding of larger ipsilateral than contralateral effects suggests that sensitization through cutaneous trigeminal afferents adds on other possible mechanisms such as activation of cortico-nuclear or cortico-reticular connections.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Institutions:

Cabib, Christopher. EMG Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; IDIBAPS (Institut d'Investigacio Augusti Pi i Sunyer), Facultat de Medicina, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Electronic address: ccabibitalia@yahoo.it. Cipullo, Federica. Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Chirurgiche, Neurologiche, Metaboliche e dell'Invecchiamento, Seconda Universita degli studi di Napoli, Naples, Italy.

Morales, Merche. EMG Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; IDIBAPS (Institut d'Investigacio Augusti Pi i Sunyer), Facultat de Medicina, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Valls-Sole, Josep. EMG Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; IDIBAPS (Institut d'Investigacio Augusti Pi i Sunyer), Facultat de Medicina, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

 

Topic of this Article:

Topics: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, 1- Brain Stimulation Journal Index, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)


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