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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2018 Aug 20;8(1):12477.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30127-z.

Cognitive Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Combined With Working Memory Training in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Cognitive Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Combined With Working Memory Training in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Vinicius Souza Dos Souza Dos Santos et al. Sci Rep. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Cognitive dysfunction in fibromyalgia has been reported, especially memory. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been effective in enhancing this function. We tested the effects of eight sessions of tDCS and cognitive training on immediate and delayed memory, verbal fluency and working memory and its association with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Forty females with fibromyalgia were randomized to receive eight sessions of active or sham tDCS. Anodal stimulation (2 mA) was applied over the DLPFC and online combined with a working memory training (WMT) for 20 minutes. Pre and post-treatment neurocognitive tests were administered. Data analysis on deltas considering years of education and BDNF as covariates, indicated active-tDCS + WMT significantly increased immediate memory indexed by Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test score when compared to sham. This effect was dependent on basal BDNF levels. In addition, the model showed active stimulation increased orthographic and semantic verbal fluency scores (Controlled Oral Word Association Test) and short-term memory (Forward Digit Span). The combination of both techniques seemed to produce effects on specific cognitive functions related to short-term and long-term episodic memory and executive functions, which has clinical relevance for top-down treatment approaches in FM.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Scatter plots indicating the Pearson (r) correlations between changes in episodic memory immediate recall assess with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RALVT) and changes in BDNF adjusted index.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The Dual n-Back Task scheme.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Flowchart showing recruitment and progress through the study. Controlled Word Association Test (Cowat); Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT); Paced Auditory Serial Addiction Test (PASAT); Brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF); Heat pain threshold (HPTh) and tolerance (HPTo).

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