Safety of 5 kHz tACS

Leila Chaieb, Andrea Antal, Alberto Pisoni, Catarina Saiote, Alexander Opitz, Géza Gergely Ambrus, Niels Focke, Walter Paulus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Sinusoidal transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) at 5 kHz applied for 10 min at 1 mA intensity over the hand area of the primary motor cortex (M1) results in sustained changes in cortical excitability as previously demonstrated. Objective Here we have assessed safety aspects of this stimulation method by measuring neuron-specific enolase (NSE) levels, examining electroencephalogram (EEG) traces and analyzing anatomical data by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods Altogether 18 healthy volunteers participated in the study. tACS was applied at 5 kHz for a duration of 10 min over the left M1 at an intensity of 1 mA. Results After stimulation no significant changes were detected in NSE levels, no structural alterations were observed in the anatomical scans and no pathological changes were found in the EEG recordings. Conclusions Our data imply that the application of tACS is safe at least within these parameters and with these applied protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Alternating current stimulation
  • Human
  • M1
  • Side effects


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