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1- Department of Biomedical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.
2- Laureate Institute of Brain Research (LIBR), Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
Abstract:  
Introduction: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been studied as an adjunctive treatment option for substance use disorders (SUDs). Alterations in brain structure following SUD may change tDCS-induced electric field (EF) and subsequent responses. However, group-level differences between healthy controls (HC) and participants with SUDs in terms of EF and its association with cortical architecture have not yet been modeled quantitatively.
Objective: We provided a methodology for group-level analysis of computational head models (CHMs) to investigate the influence of cortical morphology metrics on EFs.
Method: Whole-brain surface-based morphology was conducted and cortical thickness, volume, and surface area were compared between participants with CUD (n=20) and age-matched HC (n=22). We also simulated EFs for bilateral tDCS over DLPFC. Effects of structural alterations on EF distribution were investigated based on individualized CHMs.
Results: In terms of EF, no significant difference was found within the prefrontal cortex. However, EFs were significantly different in left-postcentral and right-superior temporal gyrus (P < 0.05) with higher level of variance in CUD compared to HC (F39,43=5.31,P<0.0001,C =0.95). We found significant differences in cortical area (caudal anterior cingulate and rostral middle frontal), thickness (lateral orbitofrontal), and volume (paracentral and fusiform) between two groups.
Conclusion: Brain morphology and tDCS-induced EFs may be changed following CUD. However, differences between CUD and HCs in EFs do not always overlap with brain areas that showed structural alterations. To sufficiently modulate stimulation targets, it should be checked if individuals with CUD need to be given different stimulation dose based on tDCS target location.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Computational Neuroscience
Received: 2021/05/17 | Accepted: 2021/09/18

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