Non-invasive transcranial electrical stimulation of the prefrontal cortex using multimodal MRI


A major focus of our research is non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation (NIBS) with a focus on prefrontal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). These innovative methods of applied neuroscience offer a unique in-vivo intervention to better understand the functional and structural role of frontal regions in the human brain. Past studies of our working group have investigated healthy volunteers with simultaneous MRI-stimulation methods. In initial studies, the reproducibility of prefrontal stimulation in the brain was evaluated, different electrode montages in a repeated measurement design were evaluated within the same sample, and the gray matter brain volume of major depressive patients was investigated in association with the later antidepressant response.  Recent research has shown that the individual resting state functional MRI connectivity of the human brain (rsfcMRI) is relatively consistent, whereas it differs significantly from other humans. Anatomically defined analyses of NIBS in neuropsychiatric patients and healthy volunteers have yielded promising results. Even the combination of multiple neuroimaging techniques can be useful to identify classifiers that can be used reliably to predict NIBS effects.

Related publications:

Bulubas L*, Padberg F*, Bueno PV, Duran F, Busatto G, Amaro E Jr, Benseñor IM, Lotufo PA, Goerigk S, Gattaz W, Keeser D*, Brunoni AR*. Antidepressant effects of tDCS are associated with prefrontal gray matter volumes at baseline: Evidence from the ELECT-TDCS trial. Brain Stimul. 2019 May 8. pii: S1935-861X(19)30213-X. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.05.006. PDF.

Wörsching J, Padberg F, Goerigk S, Heinz I, Bauer C, Plewnia C, Hasan A, Ertl-Wagner B, Keeser D. Testing assumptions on prefrontal transcranial direct current stimulation: Comparison of electrode montages using multimodal fMRI. Brain Stimul. 2018 Sep-Oct; 11(5): 998-1007.  PDF.  

Wörsching J, Padberg F, Helbich K, Hasan A, Koch L, Goerigk S, Stoecklein S, Ertl-Wagner B, Keeser D. Test-retest reliability of prefrontal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) effects on functional MRI connectivity in healthy subjects. NeuroImage. Available online 24 April 2017,  PDF     

Wörsching J, Padberg F, Ertl-Wagner B, Kumpf U, Kirsch B, Keeser D. Imaging transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex-correlation or causality in stimulation-mediated effects? Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2016;69:333-56.  PDF 

Palm, U*, Keeser, D*, Hasan, A, Kupka, M, Blautzik, J, Sarubin, N, Kaymakanova, F, Unger, I, Kupka, MJ, Falkai, P, Ertl-Wagner, B,, Padberg, F. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) changes negative symptoms and resting-state functional MRI connectivity in schizophrenia: A double-blind, sham-controlled, clinical trial. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 2016 Sep;42(5):1253-61. PDF   

Keeser, D, Meindl, T, Bor, J, Reiser, M, Palm, U, Pogarell, O, Mulert, C, Padberg, F. Prefrontal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) modulates resting-state functional connectivity in healthy subjects: a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Journal of Neuroscience. 2011 Oct 26;31(43):15284-93. 
Keeser D, Padberg F, Reisinger E, Pogarell O, Kirch V, Palm U, Karch S, Möller HJ, Nitsche MA, Mulert C (2011). Prefrontal direct current stimulation modulates resting EEG and event-related potentials in healthy subjects: A standardized low resolution tomography (sLORETA) study. NeuroImage 55(2): 644-657. PDF