Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation associated with an aerobic exercise bout on blood pressure and autonomic modulation of hypertensive patients: A pilot randomized clinical trial


      The objective of this article was to evaluate the effects of an aerobic exercise bout associated with a single session of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left temporal lobe on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate variability (HRV) in hypertensive people. After met the inclusion criteria, twenty hypertensive people were randomized to active-tDCS or sham-tDCS group. Initially, they provided their sociodemographic data, a blood sample, and went through an evaluation of the cardiorespiratory performance. Then, a single session of tDCS with an intensity of 2 mA over the left lobe during 20 min was carried out. After tDCS, it was performed a session of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise during 40 min. BP during 24 h and HRV measurements were performed before (baseline) and after the intervention. Systolic BP during sleep time decreased in the active-tDCS group (p = 0.008). Diastolic BP showed a significant decrease 3 h after the intervention in the active-tDCS group (p = 0.01). An intragroup comparison showed a significant decrease in systolic BP 3 h after intervention only for the active-tDCS group (p = 0.04). Besides, there was a trend toward a difference in wake for diastolic BP for active-tDCS (p = 0.07). Lastly, there were no changes in the HRV for both groups. It is suggested that anodal tDCS associated with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can decrease systolic and diastolic BP of hypertensive people during sleep time and 3 h after the intervention.


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