Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Cognitive Performance and Cerebral Oxygen Hemodynamics: A Systematic Review

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Vol. 15 (2021)

Mots clés
Auteurs
  • Mathieu Figeys
  • Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Michael Zeeman
  • Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Esther Sung Kim
  • Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Esther Sung Kim
  • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Résumé

Background: There is increasing evidence to support the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applications in cognitive augmentation and rehabilitation. Neuromodulation achieved with tDCS may further regulate regional cerebral perfusion affiliated through the neurovascular unit; however, components of cerebral perfusion decrease across aging. A novel neuroimaging approach, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), can aid in quantifying these regional perfusional changes. To date, the interaction of the effects of tDCS on cognitive performance across the lifespan and obtained fNIRS hemodynamic responses remain unknown.Objective: This review aims to examine the effects of tDCS on cognitive performance and fNIRS hemodynamic responses within the context of cognitive aging.Methods: Six databases were searched for studies. Quality appraisal and data extraction were conducted by two independent reviewers. Meta-analysis was carried out to determine overall and subgroup effect sizes.Results: Eight studies met inclusion criteria. The overall effect size demonstrates that tDCS can alter cognitive performance and fNIRS signals, with aging being a potential intermediary in tDCS efficacy.Conclusion: From the studies included, the effects of tDCS on cognitive performance and fNIRS metrics are most prominent in young healthy adults and appear to become less robust with increasing age. Given the small number of studies included in this review further investigation is recommended.

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