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This article is the author's final published version in Brain Stimulation, Volume 16, Issue 3, May–June 2023, Pg. 748-755.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 Published by Elsevier Inc.


BACKGROUND: Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS)-a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that modulates cortical oscillations through entrainment-has been demonstrated to alter oscillatory activity and enhance cognition in healthy adults. TACS is being explored as a tool to improve cognition and memory in patient populations with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

OBJECTIVE: To review the growing body of literature and current findings obtained from the application of tACS in patients with MCI or AD, highlighting the effects of gamma tACS on brain function, memory, and cognition. Evidence on the use of brain stimulation in animal models of AD is also discussed. Important parameters of stimulation are underscored for consideration in protocols that aim to apply tACS as a therapeutic tool in patients with MCI/AD.

FINDINGS: The application of gamma tACS has shown promising results in the improvement of cognitive and memory processes that are impacted in patients with MCI/AD. These data demonstrate the potential for tACS as an interventional stand-alone tool or alongside pharmacological and/or other behavioral interventions in MCI/AD.

CONCLUSIONS: While the use of tACS in MCI/AD has evidenced encouraging results, the effects of this stimulation technique on brain function and pathophysiology in MCI/AD remains to be fully determined. This review explores the literature and highlights the need for continued research on tACS as a tool to alter the course of the disease by reinstating oscillatory activity, improving cognitive and memory processing, delaying disease progression, and remediating cognitive abilities in patients with MCI/AD.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.