Cathodal tDCS in MCI: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Pilot Study

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Mayo Clinic

Status

Completed

Conditions

Cognitive Impairment
Mild Cognitive Impairment
Neurocognitive Dysfunction

Treatments

Device: Soterix Medical 1x1 Low Intensity Transcranial Electrical Stimulator (tES) Model 2001

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT03521089
16-007478

Details and patient eligibility

About

This study evaluates the application of non-invasive brain stimulation in the treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in adults aged 55-85. Half of the participants will receive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), while the other half will receive sham (like placebo) stimulation.

Full description

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether giving transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) treatment using an investigational device called the Soterix tES Device (tDCS device) on the right side of the brain can improve performance on cognitive tests. Investigational means that the tDCS device is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the use in this study. tDCS is a non-invasive way to electrically stimulate the brain. The tDCS device is portable and runs on two 9-volt batteries. Electrodes from the tDCS device carry weak electrical current through the scalp and skull and into the brain. When the direction of the electric current flow is called cathodal, the brain under the site of stimulation reduces its activity. When tasks are performed, certain parts of the brain are activated. Research studies have shown that younger adults and older adults activate similar parts of the brain when performing the same task (a memory task, for example). However, other researchers found older adults who scored worse on memory tasks, and those with Mild Cognitive Impairment, activated an additional part of the brain so both sides of the brain are activated. Researchers are not sure whether this additional activation is helpful or not. Investigators in this study believe that this extra activation may be contributing to worse performance on tasks. It may be possible to use tDCS to reduce the brain activity on the extra activation (right) side in older adults, to resemble an activation pattern seen in younger adults (or higher scoring cohort). Using cathodal tDCS to reduce brain activity might help the brain in performing tasks.

Enrollment

16 patients

Sex

All

Ages

55 to 85 years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Male or female outpatients with confirmed MCI diagnosis
  • Age 55-85
  • Right handed (tested using the Edinburgh handedness inventory)
  • Total PHQ-8 of ≤ 16 which signifies no severe depression
  • All participants and/or caregivers must be able to provide informed consent

Exclusion criteria

  • Neurodegenerative disease (e.g. Parkinson's, Huntington's, Multiple Sclerosis) other than MCI
  • Previous brain lesion
  • Intracranial abnormality such as prior stroke
  • History of seizure disorder or epilepsy
  • A "true" positive response, after patient clarification, to any question on the modified TMS/tDCS Adult Safety Screen questionnaire that would impact patient safety
  • Any history of brain stimulation treatment (e.g., electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), vagal nerve therapy (VNS), deep brain stimulation (DBS))
  • Use of any investigational drug within 4 weeks
  • Cardiac pacemakers, implanted medication pumps, intracardiac lines; acute or unstable cardiac disease; intracranial implants (e.g., aneurysm clips, shunts, stimulators, cochlear implants, or electrodes) or any other metal object within or near the head (exception: mouth/dental work) that cannot be safely removed
  • Known or suspected pregnancy (extremely unlikely as the age range for this study is 55-85 years)

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Double Blind

16 participants in 2 patient groups

Active tDCS
Active Comparator group
Description:
Active tDCS uses the Soterix Medical 1x1 Low Intensity Transcranial Electrical Stimulator (tES) Model 2001. The active tDCS intervention include stimulation for 15 minutes at 1mA. The cathode electrode will be placed over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with reference electrode (anode) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Both electrodes are covered by saline-soaked sponges that are held against the scalp by a pair of large, adjustable head straps. Treatment sessions will last for 15 minutes. 5 consecutive treatment sessions will be completed within 1 week.
Treatment:
Device: Soterix Medical 1x1 Low Intensity Transcranial Electrical Stimulator (tES) Model 2001
Sham tDCS
Sham Comparator group
Description:
Sham tDCS uses the Soterix Medical 1x1 Low Intensity Transcranial Electrical Stimulator (tES) Model 2001. The sham tDCS intervention lasts for 15 minutes. The cathode electrode will be placed over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with reference electrode (anode) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Both electrodes are covered by saline-soaked sponges that are held against the scalp by a pair of large, adjustable head straps. Treatment sessions will last for 15 minutes. 5 consecutive treatment sessions will be completed within 1 week.
Treatment:
Device: Soterix Medical 1x1 Low Intensity Transcranial Electrical Stimulator (tES) Model 2001

Trial documents
1

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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