Objective: To evaluate effects of 5 sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (DOC). Methods: Seven patients in vegetative state (VS) and 6 in minimally conscious state (MCS), at ≥3months after brain injury, were randomized into two groups: group 1 received one week of active tDCS and 1week of sham stimulation, separated by 1 resting week; group 2 received active and sham stimulation in reverse order. We performed clinical and EEG evaluations before and after the first stimulation session, two hours after the last weekly stimulation, twice during the resting week, and during a 3-month follow-up. Results: We observed small changes of patients' conditions after the first tDCS session and immediately after the 5 active stimulations. Substantial clinical and EEG changes were observed in 5/13 patients (3 in MCS and 2 in VS) starting after entire (active and sham) stimulation protocol and further progressing during the next months. No baseline features distinguished patients who improved from patients who did not improve. Conclusions: Repeated tDCS did not exert remarkable short-term clinical and EEG effects in patients with prolonged DOC. Further studies should ascertain whether tDCS might promote clinical recovery in the long-term period.

Repeated transcranial direct current stimulation in prolonged disorders of consciousness: A double-blind cross-over study

Pascarella, Angelo;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate effects of 5 sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (DOC). Methods: Seven patients in vegetative state (VS) and 6 in minimally conscious state (MCS), at ≥3months after brain injury, were randomized into two groups: group 1 received one week of active tDCS and 1week of sham stimulation, separated by 1 resting week; group 2 received active and sham stimulation in reverse order. We performed clinical and EEG evaluations before and after the first stimulation session, two hours after the last weekly stimulation, twice during the resting week, and during a 3-month follow-up. Results: We observed small changes of patients' conditions after the first tDCS session and immediately after the 5 active stimulations. Substantial clinical and EEG changes were observed in 5/13 patients (3 in MCS and 2 in VS) starting after entire (active and sham) stimulation protocol and further progressing during the next months. No baseline features distinguished patients who improved from patients who did not improve. Conclusions: Repeated tDCS did not exert remarkable short-term clinical and EEG effects in patients with prolonged DOC. Further studies should ascertain whether tDCS might promote clinical recovery in the long-term period.
2017
Minimally conscious state
Neurorehabilitation
Transcranial direct current stimulation
Vegetative state
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/96184
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