Inferior parietal transcranial direct current stimulation with training improves cognition in anomic Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia

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Abstract

Introduction We evaluated whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can improve picture-naming abilities in subjects with anomic Alzheimer or frontotemporal dementias. Methods Using a double-blind crossover design, 10 participants were trained on picture naming over a series of 10 sessions with either 30 minutes of anodal (2 mA) tDCS stimulation to the left inferior parieto-temporal region (P3) or sham stimulation. We evaluated performance on a trained picture-naming list, an equivalent untrained list, and additional neuropsychological tasks. Results Participants improved significantly more receiving real stimulation rather than sham stimulation (40% vs. 19%, P < .01), lasting at least 2 weeks after stimulation. Furthermore, these participants showed a small increase for untrained picture-naming items and digit span when they received real stimulation but a decrease when sham stimulation was received. Discussion tDCS stimulation has promise as a treatment for anomia in demented individuals and the effect can generalize to unstudied items as well as other cognitive abilities.

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Roncero, C., Kniefel, H., Service, E., Thiel, A., Probst, S., & Chertkow, H. (2017). Inferior parietal transcranial direct current stimulation with training improves cognition in anomic Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions, 3(2), 247–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trci.2017.03.003

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