Montages for tCS

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Revision as of 16:03, 11 October 2013 by Giulio.ruffini (talk | contribs) (Stroke)
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In this page we provide some examples of montages used in the literature for several applications. Readers are encouraged to search the literature for other options.

We recall here the logic regarding anodal versus cathodal stimulation. Anodal stimulation over an area produces electric fields directed generally inward into the brain in the subjacent cortex. The direction of the electric field with respect to the orientation of the neuron is a significant parameter in the alteration of the trans-membrane potential, especially of elongated neurons such as pyramidal cells. For this reason we may loosely say that anodal stimulation is excitatory, since long cortical neurons are generally aligned perpendicular to the cortical surface, etc. The opposite applies to cathodal stimulation. However, these are approximate statements. The geometry of the cortical surface is complex, as are the generated electric fields. For this reason, biophysical modeling of electric fields an their interactions with neurons is an important tool to carefully define montages. If interested in the topic, see this paper on biophysical modeling and this one on the electric field generated by focal tDCS.


Please see our ( | this and | this) for a review of the literature on tCS for Stroke.

A stroke that affects the cerebral cortex may have a wide range of effects depending on the location of the lesion. The clinical strategies for treating stroke typically involve stabilization of the patient, preservation of function in the brain area and adaptation of the patient to diminished function. There are some hints that electrical stimulation of the brain may in itself promote recovery or preservation of brain tissue <ref> Kanzaki S, Stöver T, Kawamoto K, Prieskorn DM, Altschuler RA, Miller JM, Raphael Y., | Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and chronic electrical stimulation prevent VIII cranial nerve degeneration following denervation, J Comp Neurol. 2002 Dec 16;454(3):350-60. </ref>, although to date a relatively small number of published studies have focused on improving specific functions through the use of single or repeated sessions of anodal stimulation.

The main motivation behind the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for stroke recovery is to support relearning of compromised abilities by enhancement of pathologically-reduced cortical excitability and activity, directly by excitability-enhancing brain stimulation of the lesioned area, or indirectly, by reducing excitability of the non-lesioned contralateral hemisphere – since this has inhibitory connections with the lesioned one <ref> Wittenberg GF, Schaechter JD., [ | The neural basis of constraint-induced movement therapy], Curr Opin Neurol. 2009 Dec;22(6):582-8. </ref>. Specifically, the respective excitability enhancements are thought to promote relearning of functions by enhancing learning-related long-term potentiation (LTP) (which is the likely physiological basis of learning and memory formation <ref> Rioult-Pedotti MS, Friedman D, Donoghue JP., | Learning-induced LTP in neocortex., Science. 2000 Oct 20;290(5491):533-6 </ref>. ) and via this mechanism promote recovery.






Additive disorders

Cognitive enhancement


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