Combined effects of theta-burst stimulation with transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex: study protocol of a randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled trial using 99mTc-ECD SPECT

Laís B Razza, Carlos A Buchpiguel, Stefanie De Smet, Izio Klein, Chris Baeken, Ricardo Galhardoni, Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt, André R Brunoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) as monotherapy has been increasingly used to enhance the activity of brain networks. However, it is unclear whether a combination of distinct NIBS approaches could enhance prefrontal cortical (PFC) activity.

OBJECTIVE: We propose to investigate the combined and standalone effects of two NIBS modalities on the PFC through a working memory task, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and salivary cortisol. We hypothesize that the combined protocol will provoke greater changes in the collected measures compared to the remining protocols.

METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, full-factorial design will be conducted. The effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) will be investigated over four different sessions (sham tDCS + sham iTBS, anodal tDCS + sham iTBS, anodal tDCS + active iTBS and sham tDCS + active iTBS) in 30 healthy adult volunteers. A 99mTc-ethylene cysteine dimer (99mTC-ECD) will be administered during the NIBS session and neuroimaging will be acquired within one hour. Salivary cortisol will be collected before and after each session and an n-back working memory task will be applied after the end of each NIBS session. The outcomes will be cerebral perfusion alterations (99mTC-ECD SPECT), accuracy and reaction time in the n-back task, and changes in salivary cortisol level.

CONCLUSION: The results from this trial can guide future therapeutic protocols for NIBS treatments stimulating the PFC by demonstrating that the combination of NIBS techniques is feasible, tolerable, and can lead to greater enhancement of PFC activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in psychiatry and psychotherapy
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Cysteine/analogs & derivatives
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Prefrontal Cortex/diagnostic imaging
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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