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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00412

Effects of Long-lasting High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Chronic Disorders of Consciousness

 Yongkun Guo1, Yang Bai2, 3,  Xiaoyu Xia4, Jinju Li1, Xiaoli Wang1, Yiwu Dai4, Yuanyuan Dang4,  Jianghong He4, Chunying Liu1* and Hui Zhang1*
  • 1Zhengzhou Central Hospital, China
  • 2Institute of International Vegetative State and Consciousness Science, Hangzhou Normal University, China
  • 3School of Basic Medicine, Hangzhou Normal University, China
  • 4Affiliated Bayi Brain Hospital, Army General Hospital of PLA, China

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) recently was shown to benefit rehabilitation of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). However, high-Definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) has not been applied in DOC. In this study, we tried to use HD-tDCS protocol (2 mA, 20 min, the precuneus, sustaining 14 days ) to rehabilitate 11 DOC patients. Electroencephalography (EEG) and Coma Recovery Scale–Revised (CRS-R) scores were recorded at before (T0), after a single session (T1), after 7 days’ (T2) and 14 days’ HD-tDCS (T3) to assess the modulation effects. EEG coherence was measured to evaluate functional connectivity during the experiment. It showed that 9 patients’ scores increased compared with the baseline. The central-parietal coherence significantly decreased at the delta band in DOC patients. EEG coherence might be useful for assessing the effect of HD-tDCS in DOC patients. Long-lasting HD-tDCS over the precuneus is promising for the treatment of DOC patients.

Keywords: disorders of consciousness (DOC), High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS), Electroencephalography (EEG), Coma Recovery Scale–Revised scores, coherence

Received: 01 Mar 2019; Accepted: 11 Apr 2019.

Edited by:

Sabato Santaniello, University of Connecticut, United States

Reviewed by:

Antonino Naro, Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo (IRCCS), Italy
Tommaso Bocci, University of Milan, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Guo, Bai, Xia, Li, Wang, Dai, Dang, He, Liu and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Ms. Chunying Liu, Zhengzhou Central Hospital, Zhengzhou, China,
Dr. Hui Zhang, Zhengzhou Central Hospital, Zhengzhou, China,