Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Zaghloul Ahmed

Committee Members

Abdessalam, El Idrissi

Jefferson, Goodman

Bassem El-Khodor

Andrzej, Wieraszko

Subject Categories

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience


Anode Transcranial direct current stimulation, cathode transcranial direct stimulation, sodium/potassium ATPase expression, sodium/potassium ATPase regulation


Direct current stimulation is used as a noninvasive therapeutic technique to enhance motor recovery following stroke, and to improve cognitive functions. This technique also showed promising results in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis. Transcranial direct current stimulation has been proven to cause a polarization (depolarization or hyperpolarization) of the target tissues depending on the polarity of the current and cell orientation. Because of the induced polarization, the spontaneous activity of the neurons is further affected. With exception to this electrophysiological effect, the overall biological mechanisms of transcranial direct current stimulation on the underlying tissues remain largely unknown. The present study aimed to reveal the effects of this technique on molecular targets that play a role in the generation and maintenance of cells’ membrane potentials. More specifically, this study focused on the sodium/potassium ATPase whose role in the generation of the membrane potential is essential. It also focused on other molecules that control the activity of the pump. Findings of this study revealed that cathode transcranial direct current stimulation increases the expression of alpha1 sodium/potassium ATPase protein and gene. The expression of beta 2 sodium/potassium ATPase was also increased following anode direct current stimulation. Similarly, the expression of alpha 1 sodium/potassium ATPase phospho-serine 943 and alpha 1 sodium/potassium ATPase phospho-serine 23 increased after anode transcranial direct stimulation. Taken together, these results showed that transcranial direct current stimulation influences the expression and regulation of the sodium/potassium ATPase.