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Author: Michael A Nitsche (198)


Feb
2018

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique which alters motor functions in healthy humans and in neurological patients. Most studies so far investigated the effects of tDCS on mechanisms underlying improvements of upper limb performance. To investigate the effect of anodal tDCS over the lower limb motor cortex (M1) on lower limb motor learning in healthy volunteers, we conducted a randomized, single blind and sham-controlled study.

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Jan
2018

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces long-term potentiation-like plasticity, which is associated with long-lasting effects on different cognitive, emotional, and motor performances. Specifically, tDCS applied over the motor cortex is considered to improve reaction time in simple and complex tasks. The timing of tDCS relative to task performance could determine the efficacy of tDCS to modulate performance.

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Jan
2018

Involuntary movements as seen in repetitive disorders such as Tourette Syndrome (TS) results from cortical hyperexcitability that arise due to striato-thalamo-cortical circuit (STC) imbalance. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a stimulation procedure that changes cortical excitability, yet its relevance in repetitive disorders such as TS remains largely unexplored. Here, we employed the dopamine transporter-overexpressing (DAT-tg) rat model to investigate behavioral and neurobiological effects of frontal tDCS.

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Feb
2018

In the past three decades, our understanding of brain-behavior relationships has been significantly shaped by research using non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques. These methods allow non-invasive and safe modulation of neural processes in the healthy brain, enabling researchers to directly study how experimentally altered neural activity causally affects behavior. This unique property of NIBS methods has, on the one hand, led to groundbreaking findings on the brain basis of various aspects of behavior and has raised interest in possible clinical and practical applications of these methods.

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Dec
1969

Neuromodulation techniques such as tDCS have provided important insight into the neurophysiological mechanisms that mediate cognition. Albeit anodal tDCS (a-tDCS) often enhances cognitive skills, the role of cathodal tDCS (c-tDCS) in visual cognition is largely unexplored and inconclusive. Here, in a single-blind, sham-controlled study, we investigated the offline effects of 1.

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Jan
2018

An organizing principle which has recently emerged proposes that executive functions (EF) can be divided into cognitive (cold) and affective/reward-related (hot) processes related to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) respectively. A controversial question is whether cold and hot EF are functionally and structurally independent or not. This study investigated how the left DLPFC (l-DLPFC) and right OFC (r-OFC) interact in hot and cold EF using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

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Sep
2017

This study examined effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) on major executive functions (EFs), including response inhibition, executive control, working memory (WM), and cognitive flexibility/task switching in ADHD.
ADHD children received (a) left anodal/right cathodal DLPFC tDCS and (b) sham stimulation in Experiment 1 and (a) left anodal DLPFC/right cathodal OFC tDCS, (b) left cathodal DLPFC/right anodal OFC tDCS, and (c) sham stimulation in Experiment 2. The current intensity was 1 mA for 15 min with a 72-hr interval between sessions.

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Oct
2017

Previous studies investigated predictors of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) response in depressive disorders but there is still limited knowledge about clinical predictors. Moreover, predictors of rTMS response in bipolar depression (BDD) are less studied than unipolar depression (UDD).
We performed a binary logistic regression analysis in 248 patients with depressive disorders (unipolar N=102, bipolar N=146) who received 20 sessions of DLPFC rTMS (High-frequency rTMS, low-frequency rTMS, bilateral rTMS) to investigate significant clinical and demographic predictors of rTMS response.

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Feb
2018

Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has been gaining increased popularity in human neuroscience research during the last years. Among the emerging NIBS tools is transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), whose main modalities are transcranial direct, and alternating current stimulation (tDCS, tACS). In tES, a small current (usually less than 3mA) is delivered through the scalp.

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Apr
2017

Neuroplasticity represents the dynamic structural and functional reorganization of the central nervous system, including its connectivity, due to environmental and internal demands. It is recognized as a major physiological basis for adaption of cognition and behaviour, and, thus, of utmost importance for normal brain function. Cognitive dysfunctions are major symptoms in psychiatric disorders, which are often associated with pathological alteration of neuroplasticity.

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Dec
1969

Recent studies exploring the combined effect of motor learning and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for stroke rehabilitation have shown partially conflicting results.
To test the efficacy of an optimized hand training approach combined with tDCS in stroke patients.
In the present pilot study we investigated motor effects of four-week training with a visuomotor grip force tracking task combined with tDCS in 11 chronic stroke patients.

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Dec
1969

During recent years, non-invasive brain stimulation, including transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) in general, and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in particular, have created new hopes for treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Despite promising primary results in some brain disorders, a more widespread application of tES is hindered by the unsolved question of determining optimum stimulation protocols to receive meaningful therapeutic effects. tES has a large parameter space including various montages and stimulation parameters.

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Aug
2017

Noradrenaline is a major neuromodulator in the central nervous system, and it is involved in the pathophysiology of diverse neuropsychiatric diseases. Previous transcranial magnetic stimulation studies suggested that acute application of selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors enhances cortical excitability in the human brain. However, other, such like clinical effects, usually require prolonged noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor treatment, which might go along with different physiological effects.

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Dec
1969

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an increasingly popular method of modulating cognitive functions in humans. However, some doubt its efficacy as findings are inconsistent or remain unreplicated. It is speculated dopamine (DA) might play an important role in this inconsistency, by determining the direction and strength of the cognitive-behavioral effects of tDCS.

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Apr
2017

Motor skills are required for activities of daily living. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied in association with motor skill learning has been investigated as a tool for enhancing training effects in health and disease. Here, we review the published literature investigating whether tDCS can facilitate the acquisition, retention or adaptation of motor skills.

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Apr
2017

The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research convened a meeting of researchers in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, engineering, and medicine to discuss most pressing issues facing ongoing research in the field of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and related techniques. In this study, we present opinions prepared by participants of the meeting, focusing on the most promising areas of research, immediate and future goals for the field, and the potential for hormesis theory to inform tDCS research. Scientific, medical, and ethical considerations support the ongoing testing of tDCS in healthy and clinical populations, provided best protocols are used to maximize safety.

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Dec
1969

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS) induces a long-lasting increase in cortical excitability that can increase gene transcription in the brain.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of genes related to activity-dependent neuronal plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex and hippocampus of young Sprague-Dawley rats following A-tDCS.
We applied A-tDCS over the right sensorimotor cortex epicranially with a circular electrode (3 mm diameter) at 250 μA for 20 min per day for 7 consecutive days.

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Dec
1969

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory noninvasive brain stimulation tool with potential to increase or reduce regional and remote cortical excitability. Numerous studies have shown the ability of this technique to induce neuroplasticity and to modulate cognition and behavior in adults. Clinical studies have also demonstrated the ability of tDCS to induce therapeutic effects in several central nervous system disorders.

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Feb
2017

Chronic administration of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (NRI) reboxetine (RBX) increased and prolonged the long-term potentiation-like plasticity induced by anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for over 24 h. Chronic administration of RBX converted cathodal tDCS-induced long-term depression-like plasticity into facilitation for 120 min. Chronic noradrenergic activity enhancement on plasticity of the human brain might partially explain the delayed therapeutic impact of selective NRIs in depression and other neuropsychiatric diseases.

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Jan
2017

A group of European experts was commissioned by the European Chapter of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology to gather knowledge about the state of the art of the therapeutic use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) from studies published up until September 2016, regarding pain, Parkinson's disease, other movement disorders, motor stroke, poststroke aphasia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, consciousness disorders, Alzheimer's disease, tinnitus, depression, schizophrenia, and craving/addiction. The evidence-based analysis included only studies based on repeated tDCS sessions with sham tDCS control procedure; 25 patients or more having received active treatment was required for Class I, while a lower number of 10-24 patients was accepted for Class II studies. Current evidence does not allow making any recommendation of Level A (definite efficacy) for any indication.

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Dec
1969

Neurostimulation.

Neural Plast 2016 22;2016:1830405. Epub 2016 Sep 22.
Helena Knotkova, Michael A Nitsche, Volker Tronnier

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Feb
2017

Applications of transcranial direct current stimulation to modulate human neuroplasticity have increased in research and clinical settings. However, the need for longer-lasting effects, combined with marked inter-individual variability, necessitates a deeper understanding of the relationship between stimulation parameters and physiological effects. We systematically investigated the full DC intensity range (0.

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Oct
2016

To investigate the dopamine-dependent effect of combining transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with visually cued gait training on cortical excitability and functional mobility in individuals with Parkinson's disease.
A pilot, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.
Twenty-two patients with Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned to 2 groups: (i) active anodal tDCS over the supplementary motor area (experimental group), or (ii) sham tDCS (control group).

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Dec
1969

Due to the high interindividual response variability following transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), it is apparent that further research of the long-lasting effects of the stimulation technique is required. We aimed to investigate interindividual variability following anodal tDCS and cathodal tDCS in a large-scale prospective cross-over study. Motor cortex physiology measurements were obtained using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in 59 healthy participants comparing motor-evoked potential (MEP) magnitudes following two tDCS paradigms: 1 mA anodal tDCS for 13 min and 1 mA cathodal tDCS for 9 min.

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Dec
1969

This review updates and consolidates evidence on the safety of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Safety is here operationally defined by, and limited to, the absence of evidence for a Serious Adverse Effect, the criteria for which are rigorously defined. This review adopts an evidence-based approach, based on an aggregation of experience from human trials, taking care not to confuse speculation on potential hazards or lack of data to refute such speculation with evidence for risk.

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Apr
2016

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an increasingly popular noninvasive neuromodulatory tool in the fields of cognitive and clinical neuroscience and psychiatry. It is an inexpensive, painless, and safe brain-stimulation technique that has proven to be effective in modulating cognitive and sensory-perceptual functioning in healthy individuals and clinical populations. Importantly, recent findings have shown that tDCS may also be an effective and promising tool for probing the neural mechanisms of social cognition.

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Dec
1969

Increasing evidence suggests that neural plasticity impairments, observed in schizophrenia patients, are driven by dysfunctional integration of neural signaling. However, what is less clear is whether this impairment is resultant from a general deficit in plastic induction or whether a specific plastic mechanism is affected. In the current study we aimed to assess whether schizophrenia has a selective impact on focal or non-focal plasticity induction.

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Dec
1969

Arousal and sleep are fundamental physiological processes, and their modulation is of high clinical significance. This study tested the hypothesis that total sleep time (TST) in humans can be modulated by the non-invasive brain stimulation technique transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting a 'top-down' cortico-thalamic pathway of sleep-wake regulation. Nineteen healthy participants underwent a within-subject, repeated-measures protocol across five nights in the sleep laboratory with polysomnographic monitoring (adaptation, baseline, three experimental nights).

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Dec
1969

Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability worldwide. Functional outcome depends on stroke location, severity, and early intervention. Conventional rehabilitation strategies have limited effectiveness, and new treatments still fail to keep pace, in part due to a lack of understanding of the different stages in brain recovery and the vast heterogeneity in the poststroke population.

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Apr
2017

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with cueing gait training (CGT) on functional mobility in patients with Parkinson´s disease (PD).
A pilot double-blind controlled, randomized clinical trial was conducted with 22 patients with PD assigned to the experimental (anodal tDCS plus CGT) and control group (sham tDCS plus CGT). The primary outcome (functional mobility) was assessed by 10-m walk test, cadence, stride length, and Timed Up and Go test.

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Jan
2016

Accurate face processing skills are pivotal for typical social cognition, and impairments in this ability characterise various clinical conditions (e.g., prosopagnosia).

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Dec
1969

Several different electrode configurations were originally proposed to induce excitability changes in the hand area of the motor cortex in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). However only one was found to efficiently affect cortical excitability: anode/cathode over the primary motor cortex and return electrode placed over the contralateral orbit (M-CF configuration). In this work we used the finite element method to calculate the electric field (E-field) induced in a realistic human head model in all the proposed electrode configurations.

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Jan
2016

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has generated interest as a treatment modality for schizophrenia. Dopamine, a critical pathogenetic link in schizophrenia, is also known to influence tDCS effects. We evaluated the influence of antipsychotic drug type (as defined by dopamine D2 receptor affinity) on the impact of tDCS in schizophrenia.

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Jan
2017

The impact of nicotine (NIC) on plasticity is thought to be primarily determined via calcium channel properties of nicotinic receptor subtypes, and glutamatergic plasticity is likewise calcium-dependent. Therefore glutamatergic plasticity is likely modulated by the impact of nicotinic receptor-dependent neuronal calcium influx. We tested this hypothesis for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)-induced long-term potentiation-like plasticity, which is abolished by NIC in nonsmokers.

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Jan
2017

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has become an important non-invasive brain stimulation tool for basic human brain physiology and cognitive neuroscience, with potential applications in cognitive and motor rehabilitation. To date, tDCS studies have employed a fixed stimulation level, without considering the impact of individual anatomy and physiology on the efficacy of the stimulation. This approach contrasts with the standard procedure for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) where stimulation levels are usually tailored on an individual basis.

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Oct
2015

Morality plays a vital role in our social life. A vast body of research has suggested that moral judgments rely on cognitive processes mediated by the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ), an area thought to be involved in belief attribution. Here we assessed the role of the rTPJ in moral judgments directly by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)--a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that, by applying a weak current to the scalp, allows modulating cortical excitability of the area being stimulated.

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Apr
2016

Serotonin affects memory formation via modulating long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD). Accordingly, acute selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) administration enhanced LTP-like plasticity induced by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in humans. However, it usually takes some time for SSRI to reduce clinical symptoms such as anxiety, negative mood, and related symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

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Feb
2016

Co-incidence or causality? Seizures after slow rTMS in stroke patients.

Clin Neurophysiol 2016 Feb 7;127(2):1020-1021. Epub 2015 Aug 7.
Michael A Nitsche

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Jul
2015

Non-invasive brain stimulation is a versatile tool to modulate psychological processes via alterations of brain activity, and excitability. It is applied to explore the physiological basis of cognition and behavior, as well as to reduce clinical symptoms in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Neuromodulatory brain stimulation via transcranial direct currents (tDCS) has gained increased attention recently.

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Jun
2015

Transcranial direct current stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has been shown to be clinically useful in the treatment of drug addiction.
We conducted a double-blind randomized clinical trial aiming to assess the effects of bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation (left cathodal/right anodal) on crack-cocaine addiction. We defined craving as the primary outcome, and other clinical measurements, including depressive and anxiety symptoms, and quality of life, as secondary outcomes.

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Jun
2015

Social categorization and group identification are essential ingredients for maintaining a positive self-image that often lead to negative, implicit stereotypes toward members of an out-group. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) may be a critical component in counteracting stereotypes activation.
Here, we assessed the causal role of the mPFC in these processes by non-invasive brain stimulation via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

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Dec
1969

Recent evidence indicates that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can selectively alter the EMG/force relationship of agonist arm muscles; however, the mechanisms mediating those changes are less clear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of anodal tDCS on motor unit synchronization by using a sophisticated non-linear EMG analysis called recurrence quantification analysis (RQA).
Surface EMG signals were collected from the biceps brachii muscle of eighteen healthy young adults (9 tDCS and 9 control) at various force levels (12.

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Jul
2015

Nicotine has been shown to affect cortical excitability measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation in smoking and non-smoking subjects in different ways. In tobacco-deprived smokers, administration of nicotine restores compromised cortical facilitation while in non-smokers, it enhances cortical inhibition. As cortical excitability and activity are closely linked to cognitive processes, we aimed to explore whether nicotine-induced physiological alterations in non-smokers and smokers are associated with cognitive changes.

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