In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) when delivered at home, for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Researchers suggested that this treatment improves movement symptoms in these patients.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disorder that affects brain cells. The symptoms can go from movement symptoms, such as tremors and muscle rigidity to mental symptoms such as depression. The long-term standard medical therapy for these patients causes negative side effects, affecting the treatment.
Non-invasive brain stimulation such as TDCS can be a good alternative to medication. TDCS uses a constant, low electric current on the head. Prior studies showed that TDCS improves body function, gait, and movement. However, the studies about TDCS are small-size and have short treatment periods.
Because repeated visits to a clinic for treatment can be difficult for patients with impaired movement, remote (from distance) TDCS treatment could help to overcome this challenge. It is important to research the safety and effectiveness of remote TDCS in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Methods & findings
This study enrolled 16 patients to complete 10 TDCS sessions (20 minutes each session) over 2 weeks. Every session was overlooked by a TDCS technician through video conference (when participants in different locations communicate and see with each other using a device with internet). Parkinson's disease symptoms were evaluated in the clinic before the procedure and within 1 week after the last session.
All sessions were well tolerated by the patients. Patients had a significant improvement in movement after 10 sessions of TDCS. Afternoon sessions were showed to be more beneficial than morning sessions.
The bottom line
This study concluded that remote TDCS may be a safe and effective option of treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease who have difficulties in leaving their home.
The fine print
This study had a limited number of patients and a short follow-up period. Larger studies are necessary to confirm TDCS effectiveness.
Published By :
Journal of clinical neuroscience: official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia
Sep 04, 2018
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