Title: Delayed plastic responses to anodal tDCS in older adults
Authors: Fujiyama, Hak ×
Hyde, Jane
Mark, Hinder
Soek Jin, Kim
Greame, McCormack
James, Vickers
Jeffery, Summers #
Issue Date: 22-May-2014
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Series Title: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience vol:6 issue:115
Abstract: Despite the abundance of research reporting the neurophysiological and behavioral effects of
transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in healthy young adults and clinical
populations, the extent of potential neuroplastic changes induced by tDCS in healthy older
adults is not well understood. The present study compared the extent and time course of
anodal tDCS-induced plastic changes in primary motor cortex (M1) in young and older
adults. Furthermore, as it has been suggested that neuroplasiticity and associated learning
depends on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene polymorphisms, we also
assessed the impact of BDNF polymorphism on these effects. Corticospinal excitability was
examined using transcranial magnetic stimulation before and following (0, 10, 20, 30 min)
anodal tDCS (30 min, 1 mA) or sham in young and older adults. While the overall extent of
increases in corticospinal excitability induced by anodal tDCS did not vary reliably between
young and older adults, older adults exhibited a delayed response; the largest increase in
corticospinal excitability occurred 30 min following stimulation for older adults, but
immediately post-stimulation for the young group. BDNF genotype did not result in
significant differences in the observed excitability increases for either age group. The present
study suggests that tDCS-induced plastic changes are delayed as a result of healthy aging, but
that the overall efficacy of the plasticity mechanism remains unaffected.
ISSN: 1663-4365
Publication status: accepted
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Movement Control & Neuroplasticity Research Group
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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