Animal Studies in the Field of Transcranial Electric Stimulation [chapter]

Doris Ling, Asif Rahman, Mark Jackson, Marom Bikson
2016 Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Neuropsychiatric Disorders  
Dozens of animal studies of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) have provided insight into the cellular mechanism of stimulation. Biomarkers of tDCS/ tACS responses at the neurophysiological, behavioral, and molecular levels provide a basis to design clinical interventions that engage specifi c targets. This chapter provides a broad introduction to methods and insights from animal models. Both tDCS and tACS are sub-threshold
more » ... niques, producing membrane polarization rather than fi ring. If the nervous system is engaged during tDCS/tACS, for example by cognitive behavioral therapy, then tDCS/tACS modulate this ongoing activity. Animal models have supported the basis for polarity-specifi c effects of tDCS ("anodal" excitation, "cathodal" inhibition) while also indicating limitations of simplistic dose strategies. tACS studies have focused on boosting of oscillations. Both techniques can modulate ongoing plasticity leading to lasting changes in brain function. As an adjunct therapy, tDCS/tACS may thus increase brain capacity for plasticity enhancing the effects of neuropsychiatric therapies, and compensating for disease-related decline. Experimental Design of tDCS and tACS Animal Studies There is a general perception that the rate of clinical trials on tDCS and tACS for a range of indications, including neuropsychiatric disorders, has outpaced research on the basic mechanisms of tDCS. Over the last few decades, the mechanisms by which tDCS and tACS work have been
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-33967-2_5 fatcat:y6jdj7ie3rbcddfaqpwa3dkcgu