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Home-Based Brain Stimulation for Apathy in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

Start: August 20, 2021
End: January 31, 2023
Enrollment: 40

What Is This Study About?

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive therapy that delivers weak electrical current to stimulate the brain. This study will measure the effectiveness and feasibility of home-based tDCS to lessen apathy in people with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either tDCS therapy or a sham treatment at home. Caregivers will set up and administer the treatment for up to six weeks and researchers will remotely monitor the at-home sessions. Each week and six weeks after the last treatment, the researchers will collect information about changes in cognition, apathy, and other behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Researchers will also collect any side effects and participant experiences with the home treatment.

Do I Qualify To Participate in This Study?

Minimum Age: 60 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Must have:

  • Diagnosis of possible or probable Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia
  • Serious apathy for at least four weeks with a Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire apathy score ≥ 4
  • If taking cholinesterase inhibitors, memantine, or other psychotropic medications, dosage must be stable for at least three months before starting study
  • Availability of a caregiver to set up and deliver the in-home treatments for up to six weeks


Must NOT have:

  • Any serious or unstable medical condition that could interfere with the study
  • History of epilepsy
  • Presence of metal objects in the brain (e.g., shrapnel or metal plates)
  • Diagnosis of major depression and/or a Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia score > 18

If I Qualify, Who Do I Contact?

Contact study personnel listed either under the general study contact or the location nearest you.

Study Contact
Antonio L Teixeira Jr, MD,PhD,MSc
Lijin Jose, MD

Need Help?

Contact NIA’s Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 800-438-4380 or email ADEAR.

Where Is This Study Located?

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, TX 77030
Antonio L Teixeira Jr, MD,PhD,MSc

Who Sponsors This Study?

Lead: The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Collaborator Sponsor

  • Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Consortium

Source: ID: NCT04855643