A Simulation Study on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Using MRI in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Chae-Bin Song, Cheolki Lim, Jongseung Lee, Donghyeon Kim, Hyeon Seo Journal of Biomedical Engineer | 발행연도 2023.12.31


Purpose: There is increasing attention to the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for enhancing cognitive functions in subjects to aging, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite varying treatment outcomes in tDCS which depend on the amount of current reaching the brain, there is no general information on the impacts of anatomical features associated with AD on tDCS-induced electric field. Objective: The objective of this study is to examine how AD-related anatomical variation affects the tDCS-induced electric field using computational modeling. Methods: We collected 180 magnetic resonance images (MRI) of AD patients and healthy controls from a publicly available database (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; ADNI), and MRIs were divided into female-AD, male-AD, female-normal, and male-normal groups. For each group, segmented brain volumes (cerebrospinal fluid, gray matter, ventricle, rostral middle frontal (RMF), and hippocampus/amygdala complex) using MRI were measured, and tDCS-induced electric fields were simulated, targeting RMF. Results: For segmented brain volumes, significant sex differences were observed in the gray matter and RMF, and considerable disease differences were found in cerebrospinal fluid, ventricle, and hippocampus/amygdala complex. There were no differences in the tDCS-induced electric field among AD and normal groups; however, higher peak values of electric field were observed in the female group than the male group. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrated the presence of sex and disease differences in segmented brain volumes; however, this pattern differed in tDCS-induced electric field, resulting in significant sex differences only. Further studies, we will adjust the brain stimulation conditions to target the deep brain and examine the effects, because of significant differences in the ventricles and deep brain regions between AD and normal groups.