Favorable effect of transcranial electrostimulation on behavior disorders in elderly patients with dementia: a double-blind study

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Nov;88(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.3109/00207459608999809.


The efficacy of transcranial electrostimulation for sleep-wake and behavior disorders in elderly patients with dementia was tested in a double-blind study. The subjects were 27 inpatients with multi-infarct dementia (12 males and 15 females, aged 58-86). They were randomly divided into two groups: active treatment (n = 14) and placebo treatment (n = 13). For electrostimulation, a device (HESS-100) was used which delivered repetitive rectangular electric pulses of 6-8 V at increasing frequencies from 6 to 80 Hz, each pulse lasting 0.2 ms and with a root mean square value of 256-530 microA. Electrostimulation was performed for 20 minutes from 10:00 h every morning. The active or placebo treatment was performed for 2 weeks in each group. The electrostimulation was significantly effective in behavior disorders such as wandering or nocturnal delirium, and decreased motivation during the daytime. It was also effective in improving night sleep. Electroencephalograms confirmed increased vigilance levels in the daytime both during and after the treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / complications*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome