Computational Modeling Of The Child Brain To Define Parameters For Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation: A Systematic Review Of Literature

Araujo TFL 1 ,Lucena R 2, Bandeira ID 3, Lucena PH 4, Armani-Franceschi G 1, Barouh J 1, Baptista AF 5, Machado MAD 6

  1. Undergraduate in Medicine at the Federal University of Bahia. Federal University of Bahia, Medical School of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil; 2. Neuropediatrician. Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Federal University of Bahia.; 3. Medical Doctor. Doctoral student of the Postgraduate Program in Medicine and Health at the Federal University of Bahia; 4. Undergraduate in Medicine at the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health.; 5. Physiotherapist. Associate Professor at the Center for Mathematics, Computing and Cognition at UFABC; 6. Physicist. Doctoral student of the Postgraduate Program in Medicine and Health at the Federal University of Bahia

OBJECTIVE: This work aims to assess current knowledge about tDCS models of the pediatric brain to define stimulation parameters.

METHODS: This is a systematic review of the literature according to the PRISMA-P protocol. We located pertinent studies, published between 2008 and 2020, in the MEDLINE/PubMed, LILACS, EMBASE, PSYCINFO, SCIELO and Virtual Health Library (Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde: BVS) databases.  An active search was also made in the bibliographic references of the published studies.  Studies were selected by title and their abstracts. After completing each stage, nine selected articles were read in full, with data extracted according to a standardized form.

RESULTS: Nine articles were found and analysed of the use of computational models to assess the effect of tDCS in children, establishing comparisons with models of the same procedure in adults. Current amplitude (measured in amps), stimulation duration and electrode characteristics (size and position) were the most frequently described parameters in the models. In this context, through false colour maps of the brain and tabulated data, the works sought to demonstrate how variation in parameters influenced current distribution in the brain. The data are summarized in tables 1.

CONCLUSIONS: Although some computational models have been used to estimate the effect of tDCS on the child brain, validation studies are required to ascertain their accuracy and practical utility in defining the neurophysiological effects of tDCS, as well as for safety parameters and to develop individualized treatment protocols.

KEYWORDS: Brain, Children, Computational Model, Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Medicina e Saúde, Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.