Pneumologie 2010; 64 - A21
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1267762

Transcranial stimulation and effects on sleep-alertness-management

C Garcia 1, C Schöbel 1, M Glos 1, I Fietze 1, T Penzel 1
  • 1Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Mitte, Schlafmedizinische Zentrum

Background: Could computers someday interact directly with the human brain? The vision of an EU funded project is that we will witness the coming of age of technologies for fluent brain-computer and computer-mediated brain-to-brain interaction. While recent research has delivered important breakthroughs in brain-to-computer transmission, little has been achieved in the other direction – computer-controlled brain stimulation.

One important question is how to influence sleep-alertness-management by multisite non-invasive transcranial stimulation.

Methods: It is a randomized double blind cross over study. Therefore the wake subjects will receive one day sham and the other day active transcranial stimulation and after a wash out period of at least 3 days they will change into the other group. We will stimulate for 5 minutes with a 1-min stimulation free interval for 5 times (30min all in all). The whole procedure will be repeated 6 times a day starting at 9am. After each stimulation we will perform a Maintenance of Wakefulness – Test (MWT), a psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) and a questionnaire to well being.

Results: We expect changes in the EEG activity. Depending on the stimulation site of tCS it is possible to influence frequency and amplitudes of EEG bands as well. Like Marshall et al 2006 and Kirov et al 2009 we will stimulate in the frontolateral position and therefore expect an increase in theta and beta activity after transcranial slow oscillating stimulation. Thus boosting slow EEG oscillation by tCS (transcranial current stimulation) during sleep can potentiate memory consolidation and has an effect on sleep in several patients like Marshall et al 2006, Kirov et al 2009 had shown.

Conclusion: It is only very little known about the influence of transcranial stimulation on sleep-wake-behaviour. As sleep has an impact on all functional systems (e.g. CNS, ANS), it might not wonder if transcranial stimulation could improve consolidation of memory, sleep disorders and all depending dysregulations and probably even generate alertness in case of unwished drowsiness.