A review of clinical studies of electrodermal activity and transcranial magnetic stimulation

Author: Olivia D Cox1, Ananya Munjal2, William V McCall2, Brian J Miller2, Chris Baeken3, Peter B Rosenquist2
1 Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA. Electronic address: ocox@augsta.edu.
2 Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA.
3 Ghent University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Head and Skin, Ghent Experimental Psychiatry (GHEP) lab, Ghent, Belgium; Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital (UZBrussel), Brussels, Belgium; Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Conference/Journal: Psychiatry Res
Date published: 2023 Nov 1
Other: Volume ID: 329 , Pages: 115535 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115535. , Word Count: 195

There is a growing body of evidence indicative of changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in patients with disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Non-invasive measures of the ANS, including heart rate variability (HRV), electrodermal activity (EDA), and pupillary light reflex (PLR) may have value as markers of symptom severity, subtype, risk profile, and/or treatment response. In this paper we provide an introduction into the anatomy and physiology of EDA and review the literature published after 2007 in which EDA was an outcome measure of cortical stimulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Eleven studies were included and considered regarding the potential of EDA as an outcome measure reflecting ANS activity in TMS research and treatment. These studies are summarized according to study population, experimental methodology, cortical region targeted, and correlation with other measures of ANS activity. Results indicate that EDA changes vary with the frequency and target of TMS. Inhibitory TMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) was the most common paradigm in these studies, consistently resulting in decreased EDA.

Keywords: Autonomic nervous system (ANS); Electrodermal activity (EDA); Heart rate variability (HRV); Skin conductance (SC); Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

PMID: 37839318 DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115535