Wilson, O.B., Hamilton, R.F., Warner, R.L., Johnston, C.M., deFriece, R., Harter, L., Schweitzer, C., Talaverra, J., Hymel, C.M. and Skolnick, M.H. The influence of electrical variables on analgesia produced by low current transcranial electrostimulation of rats. Anesth Analg. 68:673-81, 1989.

Pulsed low current CES has been shown to induce analgesia in rats as measured by the wet tail flick test. This study investigates the effect of varying stimulus frequency, pulse width, charge balance and polarity, as well as the influence of electrode placement and time of day at which stimulus occurred. A biphasic, charge balanced waveform with a first phase duration of 2 mS, 10 µA and 10 Hz was found to induce maximum tail flick latency changes.

The effects of morning or nighttime stimulation were statistically indistinguishable, as were the differences between monophasic and biphasic stimulation. Analgesia was maximized when a positive first phase was delivered into the right ears of the rats, but monolateral stimulation with both electrodes on either the left or the right ear produced no measurable effect. Examination of CES responses in sham and stimulated populations reveals normal response distributions with the stimulated group skewed toward a positive effect.