Therapeutic Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Therapeutic Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Gonsalvez I; Baror R; Fried P; Santarnecchi E; Pascual-Leone A.

Current Alzheimer Research. 14(4):362-376, 2017.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a looming public health crisis that currently lacks an effective treatment. Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NBS), particularly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), offers a promising alternative approach to pharmacological interventions for an increasing number of neurological and psychiatric conditions. The aim of this review is summarize data from therapeutic trials of NBS in AD and other dementing illnesses. Despite the potential of NBS, there is limited theoretical framework and a lack of guidelines for its applications to AD. Several published clinical trials failed to report key parameters of the interventions thus limiting the utility of the study to assess efficacy and safety. Our review concludes with some suggestions for future studies aimed to advance research into NBS as a potential treatment for the symptoms and disabilities caused by AD and to enable comparison of results across trials. Ultimately, appropriately powered, and controlled, multi-site randomized clinical trials will be needed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of NBS in AD.