Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Study: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) can reduce fatigue in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)


Leigh Charvet, PhD and a mem­ber of her research team use the tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) equip­ment. Cred­it: NYU Lan­gone Health


Tran­scra­nial Direct Cur­rent Stim­u­la­tion Shown to Reduce Fatigue Asso­ci­at­ed with Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis (NYU Lagone Health press release):

Peo­ple with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis (MS) who under­went a non-inva­sive form of elec­tri­cal brain stim­u­la­tion expe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in fatigue, a com­mon and often debil­i­tat­ing symp­tom of the dis­ease…When com­pared to patients who were enrolled in a place­bo arm of the study, those that received the stim­u­la­tion —called tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion, or tDCS —were found to have about a six-point drop on a 32-point scale mea­sur­ing fatigue sever­i­ty, accord­ing to the find­ings recent­ly pub­lished online in the Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis Jour­nal.

Because fatigue is a com­mon com­plaint with MS, and with no effec­tive treat­ments to address it, the researchers, encour­aged by their find­ings, note that they may point to a future role for this tech­nol­o­gy in treat­ing this par­tic­u­lar symp­tom. How­ev­er, they also cau­tion the need to val­i­date the find­ings in larg­er stud­ies —and strong­ly cau­tion indi­vid­u­als with MS not to try over-the-counter stim­u­la­tion tech­nolo­gies at home or out­side of a rig­or­ous research set­ting…

The exact mech­a­nism behind tDCS is unclear and requires more research. It is thought to change the brain’s cor­ti­cal excitabil­i­ty by mak­ing it eas­i­er for neu­rons to fire, there­by improv­ing con­nec­tions and expe­dit­ing learn­ing that takes place dur­ing reha­bil­i­ta­tion.”

The Study

Remote­ly super­vised tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion for the treat­ment of fatigue in mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis: Results from a ran­dom­ized, sham-con­trolled tri­al (Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis Jour­nal). From the abstract:

  • Objec­tive: To eval­u­ate whether tDCS can reduce fatigue in indi­vid­u­als with MS.
  • Meth­ods: Dor­so­lat­er­al pre­frontal cor­tex left anodal tDCS was admin­is­tered using a RS-tDCS pro­to­col, paired with 20?minutes of cog­ni­tive train­ing. Here, two stud­ies are con­sid­ered. Study 1 deliv­ered 10 open-label tDCS treat­ments com­pared to a cog­ni­tive train­ing only con­di­tion. Study 2 was a ran­dom­ized tri­al of active or sham deliv­ered for 20 ses­sions. Fatigue was assessed using the Patient-Report­ed Out­comes Mea­sure­ment Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem (PROMIS)—Fatigue Short Form.
  • Con­clu­sion:  tDCS is a poten­tial treat­ment for MS-relat­ed fatigue.

The Study in Context

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Technology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

All Slidedecks & Recordings Available — click image below

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.