Background: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) aims to induce cortical plasticity by modulating the activity of brain structures. The broad stimulation pattern, which is one of the main limitations of tDCS, can be overcome with the recently developed technique called High-Definition tDCS (HD-tDCS). Objective: Investigation of the effect of HD-tDCS on tinnitus in a large patient cohort. Methods: This prospective study included 117 patients with chronic, subjective, non-pulsatile tinnitus who received six sessions of anodal HD-tDCS of the right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC). Therapy effects were assessed by use of a set of standardized tinnitus questionnaires filled out at the pre-therapy (Tpre), post-therapy (T3w) and follow-up visit (T10w). Besides collecting the questionnaire data, the perceived effect (i.e., self-report) was also documented at T10w. Results: The Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) and Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ) total scores improved significantly over time (pTFI < 0.01; pTQ < 0.01), with the following significant post hoc comparisons: Tpre vs. T10w (pTFI < 0.05; pTQ < 0.05) and T3w vs. T10w (pTFI < 0.01; pTQ < 0.01). The percentage of patients reporting an improvement of their tinnitus at T10w was 47%. Further analysis revealed a significant effect of gender with female patients showing a larger improvement on the TFI and TQ (pTFI < 0.01; pTQ < 0.05). Conclusions: The current study reported the effects of HD-tDCS in a large tinnitus population. HD-tDCS of the right DLPFC resulted in a significant improvement of the tinnitus perception, with a larger improvement for the female tinnitus patients.
- High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS)
- Large cohort
- Non-invasive brain stimulation
- Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)