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Brain stimulation in Alzheimer disease


Cotelli, Maria, Manentil, Rosa, Rosini, Sandra, Brambilla, Michela, Zanetti, Orazio, Miniussi, Carlo


Neuropsychological Trends, Volume: 8, Pages.: 57-60

Year of Publication



Recent studies have reported enhanced performance on specific cognitive tasks in patients with several types of neurological disease, after receiving non invasive brain stimulation (BS), i.e., repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to specific cortical areas. In addition, persistent beneficial effects of off-line rTMS on sentence comprehension in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients have been recently described. Moreover, regarding aphasia patients, recent studies reported that the administration of rhythmic rTMS to the anterior portion of the right homologue of Broca’s area results in improvements in the ability to name pictures in patients with non-fluent aphasia. In the present pilot study fourteen AD patients were randomly assigned to one of two study groups. The first group underwent a 4-week of real tDCS stimulation protocol, while the second one underwent a 2-week placebo treatment, followed by 2 weeks of real tDCS stimulation. Both the patients and the examiners were blind to the group assignment in order to reduce confounding placebo effects. The assessment included a standard cognitive assessment and an experimental testing. Regarding the pilot results described in the present report the researchers do not know yet the experimental group associated to each patient and the unique available follow up for the present report is at 12 weeks (assessed for 11 patients out of the 14 included patients). The present preliminary results suggest once more the possible effect of BS applied to left PFC on cognitive performance of AD patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


alzheimer’s disease, alzheimers disease patients, brain stimulation, current, deep brain stimulation, direct, non invasive brain stimulation, patients, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, stimulation, tdcs, transcranial, transcranial direct current stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions