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Transcranial direct current stimulation as a novel and personalized add-on treatment to enhance regional cerebral blood flow in people with multiple sclerosis. (FWOAL1107)

Multiple sclerosis is a disease commonly associated with neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and
demyelination. However, reductions in cerebral blood flow (CBF) have also been frequently reported
and observed, even in the early stages of the disease. Although hypoperfusion could result from
reduced metabolic needs due to neuronal/axonal degeneration, the extent is greater than expected
based solely on the decrease in neuronal activity.
As recent research on the mechanisms of direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown its capacity to
increase CBF, we hypothesize that tDCS provides a promising new avenue to slow MS disease
progression before irreversible neuronal damage occurs.
We will first quantify the reductions in regional CBF in people with MS and personalize tDCS electrode
placement to target regions with reduced CBF. As repeated monitoring of CBF is not feasible outside
the scope of specific research projects, we will develop a novel spectrograph device that is capable of
capturing oxygen saturation and explore its capabilities to extract information on metabolic
(dys)function and arterial stiffness – two important factors in reduced CBF – by adopting a multiwavelength design. Finally, we will assess the predictive value of brain perfusion on disease
progression over two years and quantify the effect of personalized tDCS on regional brain perfusion.
This project will lead to an add-on treatment and a novel device enabling repeated follow-up in
clinical practice.
Date:1 Jan 2024 →  Today
Keywords:multiple sclerosis, transcranial direct current stimulation, cerebral blood flow
Disciplines:Neurological and neuromuscular diseases, Medical imaging and therapy not elsewhere classified, Medical biotechnology diagnostics