Noninvasive brain stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for pain perception and executive function in aging

Jae Hyuk Lee, Yan Jin, Se Jun Oh, Tae Hyun Lim, Bum Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Based on the evidence that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is the main region affected by the aging process, and that tDCS modulates cortical excitability, the aim of the study is to prove the feasibility of tDCS for pain perception and executive function of community-dwelling elderly individuals. Methods: We performed a double-blind, single-arm trial, including a sham period. 5 consecutive anodal tDCS was applied over DLPFC of twenty-four elderly for 20 min during each intervention periods (in order of Sham-1 mA–2 mA). First, we classified chronic non-inflammatory pain sites into three domain (Neck and upper extremity, low back, lower extremity). Then, we used visual analogue scale, pain self-efficacy scale, Tampa scale for kinesiophobia, and Global perceived Effect scale to observe the change in pain perception, as well as Trailing Making Test and Timed Up and Go (dual) to observe the change in executive function. The changes in maximal grip strength and 12-item Short Form survey were measured secondarily. Results: In the results, we observed significant improvement in pain perception and quality of life, while executive function and grip strength did not change significantly. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated the feasibility of tDCS for aging-related pain perception and suggest that further randomized controlled trials with longer duration are necessary to examine the effects on executive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Aging
  • Cognitive function
  • Pain perception
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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