Safety, tolerability, blinding efficacy and behavioural effects of a novel MRI-compatible, high-definition tDCS set-up

Gbadeyan, Oyetunde, Steinhauser, Marco, McMahon, Katie and Meinzer, Marcus (2016) Safety, tolerability, blinding efficacy and behavioural effects of a novel MRI-compatible, high-definition tDCS set-up. Brain Stimulation, 9 4: 547-554. doi:10.1016/j.brs.2016.03.018

Author Gbadeyan, Oyetunde
Steinhauser, Marco
McMahon, Katie
Meinzer, Marcus
Title Safety, tolerability, blinding efficacy and behavioural effects of a novel MRI-compatible, high-definition tDCS set-up
Journal name Brain Stimulation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1876-4754
Publication date 2016-07
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.brs.2016.03.018
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 9
Issue 4
Start page 547
End page 554
Total pages 8
Place of publication Philadelphia, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) may allow more specific neural modulation than conventional-tDCS.

We compared safety, tolerability, blinding efficacy and cognitive effects of a novel HD-tDCS set-up to that of conventional-tDCS and established compatibility with simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Two groups of healthy participants completed a visual flanker task either with conventional (N = 30) or HD-tDCS (N = 30) administered to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (1 mA) in a double-blind, sham-tDCS-controlled, cross-over design. HD-tDCS was administered with a one-channel DC-stimulator using a small conductive rubber “centre” electrode and a circular return electrode, mimicking the frequently used 4 × 1 HD-tDCS set-up. Tolerability, adverse effects, impact on performance and blinding efficacy were compared within and between the two montages. In a separate experiment, potential heating and impact on image quality of the novel HD-tDCS set-up were assessed during simultaneous fMRI.

Both montages elicited only mild adverse effects and those were less pronounced for the novel HD-tDCS set-up. Participant and investigator blinding was achieved with both montages. Only HD-tDCS resulted in significant modulation of the conflict adaptation effect during the flanker task; however, no differences were found for the direct comparison of the two montages. No significant heating occurred during fMRI and only minor effects on image quality were observed during HD-tDCS.

This study confirmed safety, tolerability and blinding efficacy of a novel, re-usable and MRI-compatible HD-tDCS set-up. It also highlights its potential to exert beneficial effects on behavioural performance. Use of this novel set-up during simultaneous fMRI in future studies will help clarify the neural mechanisms by which this HD-tDCS impacts on behavioural and neural function.
Keyword Transcranial direct current stimulation
High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation
Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
Response selection
High definition tDCS
Adverse effects
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Created: Thu, 28 Apr 2016, 11:41:17 EST by Marcus Meinzer on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences