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Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Apathy of Alzheimer's Disease

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Claudia Kimie Suemoto, University of Sao Paulo Identifier:
First received: November 21, 2011
Last updated: December 9, 2013
Last verified: December 2013
This is a phase 2 double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled study to investigate the effects of repeated transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of apathy in moderate Alzheimer's Disease in patients selected from an outpatient clinics in São Paulo, Brazil.

Condition Intervention Phase
Alzheimer's Disease
Device: Transcranial direct current stimulation
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Apathy of Alzheimer's: a Randomized, Sham-controlled Clinical Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Sao Paulo:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Apathy Symptoms [ Time Frame: Differences in outcome measure comparing second week to baseline ]
    Apathy evaluated by Apathy Scale by Starsktein et al, 1992, which consists of 14 items phrased as questions that are to be answered by the caregiver on a four-point Likert scale. The total score range from 0 to 42, with higher scores indicating greater apathy severity. Apathy was assessed at baseline and at the end of the sixth session (second week).

Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: January 2012
Study Completion Date: May 2012
Primary Completion Date: May 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Sham Comparator: Sham tDCS
sham-tDCS application every 2 days for 2 weeks (total of 6 applications)
Device: Transcranial direct current stimulation
tDCS 2 mA, dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex
Experimental: Transcranial direct current stimulation
tDCS application every 2 days for 2 weeks (total of 6 applications)
Device: Transcranial direct current stimulation
tDCS 2 mA, dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex

Detailed Description:
Forty patients were randomized to receive either active or sham-tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Patients received six sessions of intervention during two weeks and were evaluated at baseline, at week one and two, and after one week without intervention. Clinical raters, patients, and caregivers were blinded. The primary outcome was apathy. Global cognition and neuropsychiatric symptoms were examined as secondary outcomes.

Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion criteria:

  1. Dementia defined by DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version IV)
  2. Possible Alzheimer's Disease defined by NINCDS-ADRDA (National Institute for Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association)
  3. Mini Mental State Examination scores from 10 to 20
  4. Apathy defined by a score equal or higher to 14 in Apathy Scale

Exclusion criteria:

  1. Clinical instability
  2. Epilepsy
  3. Metallic clip in the head
  4. Use of alcohol and psychotropic drugs
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01481558

University of São Paulo Medical School
São Paulo, Brazil, 01246903
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Sao Paulo
Study Director: Felipe Fregni, MD, PhD, MPH Harvard Medical School
Study Chair: Ricardo Nitrini, MD, PhD University of Sao Paulo
Principal Investigator: Claudia K Suemoto, MD, PhD University of Sao Paulo
Study Chair: Ester Nakamura-Palacios, MD, PhD Federal University of Espirito Santo
Study Chair: Daniel Apolinário, MD University of Sao Paulo
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Claudia Kimie Suemoto, Assistant Professor, University of Sao Paulo Identifier: NCT01481558     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 0679/11
Study First Received: November 21, 2011
Results First Received: March 20, 2013
Last Updated: December 9, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Sao Paulo:
Alzheimer's Disease

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alzheimer Disease
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on May 25, 2017