Double transcranial direct current stimulation of the brain increases cerebral energy levels and systemic glucose tolerance in men

Ewelina K. Wardzinski*, Lisa Friedrichsen, Sina Dannenberger, Alina Kistenmacher, Uwe H. Melchert, Kamila Jauch-Chara, Kerstin M. Oltmanns

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory method that has been tested experimentally and has already been used as an adjuvant therapeutic option to treat a number of neurological disorders and neuropsychiatric diseases. Beyond its well known local effects within the brain, tDCS also transiently promotes systemic glucose uptake and reduces the activity of the neurohormonal stress axes. We aimed to test whether the effects of a single tDCS application could be replicated upon double stimulation to persistently improve systemic glucose tolerance and stress axes activity in humans. In a single-blinded cross-over study, we examined 15 healthy male volunteers. Anodal tDCS vs sham was applied twice in series. Systemic glucose tolerance was investigated by the standard hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic glucose clamp procedure, and parameters of neurohormonal stress axes activity were measured. Because tDCS-induced brain energy consumption has been shown to be part of the mechanism underlying the assumed effects, we monitored the cerebral high-energy phosphates ATP and phosphocreatine by 31 phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. As hypothesised, analyses revealed that double anodal tDCS persistently increases glucose tolerance compared to sham. Moreover, we observed a significant rise in cerebral high-energy phosphate content upon double tDCS. Accordingly, the activity of the neurohormonal stress axes was reduced upon tDCS compared to sham. Our data demonstrate that double tDCS promotes systemic glucose uptake and reduces stress axes activity in healthy humans. These effects suggest that repetitive tDCS may be a future non-pharmacological option for combating glucose intolerance in type 2 diabetes patients.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Aufsatznummere12688
ZeitschriftJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Jahrgang31
Ausgabenummer4
Seiten (von - bis)e12688
ISSN0953-8194
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.04.2019

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

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