Introduction: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a progressive disease for which no curative treatment is currently available. We aimed to determine whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can modulate intracortical connectivity and improve cognition in symptomatic FTD patients and presymptomatic FTD subjects. Methods: We performed a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial with anodal tDCS or sham stimulation over the left prefrontal cortex in 70 participants (15 presymptomatic and 55 symptomatic FTD). Results: We observed a significant increase of intracortical connectivity (short interval intracortical inhibition and facilitation) and improvement in clinical scores and behavioral disturbances in both symptomatic FTD patients and presymptomatic carriers after real tDCS but not after sham stimulation. Discussion: A 2-weeks’ treatment with anodal left prefrontal tDCS improves symptoms and restores intracortical inhibitory and excitatory circuits in both symptomatic FTD patients and presymptomatic carriers. tDCS might represent a promising future therapeutic and rehabilitative approach in patients with FTD.
- Clinical trial
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Short interval intracortical inhibition
- Transcranial direct current stimulation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation