Mona Malekahmad, Ashlyn Frazer, Maryam Zoghi, Shapour Jaberzadeh

Transcranial pulsed current stimulation: A scoping review of the current literature on scope, nature, underlying mechanisms, and gaps

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Neurology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • General Neuroscience

AbstractTranscranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that has aroused considerable attention in recent years. This review aims to provide an overview of the existing literature on tPCS, examine the scope and nature of previous research, investigate its underlying mechanisms, and identify gaps in the literature. Searching online databases resulted in 36 published tPCS studies from inception until May 2023. These studies were categorized into three groups: human studies on healthy individuals, human studies on clinical conditions, and animal studies. The findings suggest that tPCS has the potential to modulate brain excitability by entraining neural oscillations and utilizing stochastic resonance. However, the underlying mechanisms of tPCS are not yet fully understood and require further investigation. Furthermore, the included studies indicate that tPCS may have therapeutic potential for neurological diseases. However, before tPCS can be applied in clinical settings, a better understanding of its mechanisms is crucial. Hence, the tPCS studies were categorized into four types of research: basic, strategic, applied, and experimental research, to identify the nature of the literature and gaps. Analysis of these categories revealed that tPCS, with its diverse parameters, effects, and mechanisms, presents a wide range of research opportunities for future investigations.

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