Effects of 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) on cognitive functions of patients with Alzheimers disease: a randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial

Introduction

Gamma frequency stimulation is found to alleviate memory deficits on animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), potentially by activating neuroimmune signalling and removing A-beta plaques in the brain.1 2 A feasible, translational hypothesis is that gamma band brain stimulation (eg, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS)) would yield clinical benefits on cognition in patients with AD. Here we performed a 6-week gamma tACS (2 mA, 40 Hz over bilateral temporal lobes) on a total of 50 subjects to elucidate clinical efficiency and safety of gamma stimulation for patients with AD.

Methods

The study included a 6-week tACS intervention phase (5 days on and 2 days off for weekends) and another 12-week efficacy/safety assessment phase without tACS intervention (figure 1A). Bilateral tACS over temporal lobes (located by 10–20 electroencephalogram system) was delivered through saline-soaked sponges (sized 4x4 cm2) using a stimulator (Transcranial, London, UK). The 40 Hz sinusoidal current was applied…

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