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Temporal cortex DC stimulation enhances performance on a visual recognition memory task in Alzheimer's disease
  1. Paulo S Boggio (boggio{at}mackenzie.br)
  1. Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil
    1. Lais P Khoury (lai.moxinha{at}gmail.com)
    1. Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil
      1. Debora C S Martins (deboracsm{at}hotmail.com)
      1. Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil
        1. Oscar E M S Martins (oscarsmartins{at}bol.com.br)
        1. Estancia Vale Verde, Brazil
          1. Elizeu C Macedo (elizeumacedo{at}uol.com.br)
          1. Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil
            1. Felipe Fregni (ffregni{at}bidmc.harvard.edu)
            1. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, United States

              Abstract

              Several studies have reported that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive method of neuromodulation, enhances some aspects of working memory in healthy and Parkinson's disease subjects. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of anodal tDCS on recognition memory, working memory and selective attention in Alzheimer's disease (AS). Ten patients with diagnosis of AD received three sessions of anodal tDCS (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left temporal cortex and sham stimulation) with an intensity of 2mA for 30 minutes. Sessions were performed in different days in a randomized order. The following tests were assessed during stimulation: Stroop, Digit Span and a Visual Recognition Memory task (VRM). The results showed a significant effect of stimulation condition on VRM (p=0.0085) and post hoc analysis showed an improvement after temporal (p=0.01) and prefrontal (p=0.01) tDCS as compared with sham stimulation. There were no significant changes in attention as indexed by Stroop task performance. To our knowledge, this is the first trial showing that tDCS can enhance a component of recognition memory. We discuss the potential mechanisms of action and the implications of these results.

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