[Transcranial direct current stimulation: a promising alternative for the treatment of major depression?].

Depressive Disorders Program, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria (Impact Factor: 1.64). 06/2009; 31 Suppl 1:S34-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In recent years, a number of new somatic (non-pharmacological treatments) have been developed for the treatment of major depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Among these, one of the most promising is transcranial direct current stimulation.
For the present literature review we searched the PubMed between January 1985 and February 2009. To be included, articles should have been published in English and should address general principles of transcranial direct current stimulation and its use in major depression.
Current protocols for the treatment of major depression with transcranial direct current stimulation usually involve the application of two sponge-electrodes in the scalp. In general, the positive electrode is applied in the region above the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (i.e., F3 region of the 10/20 International System for EEG) and the negative electrode is applied in the region above the right supra-orbital area. A direct electrical current of 1-2 mA is then applied between the electrodes for about 20 minutes, with sessions being daily performed for one to two weeks. Initial studies (including a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial) showed that transcranial direct current stimulation is effective for the treatment of non-complicated major depression and that this technique, when used in depressed patients, is associated with improvement in cognitive performance (including working memory). Finally, transcranial direct current stimulation is safe and well tolerated.
Recent studies show that transcranial direct current stimulation is an important neuromodulatory method that may be useful for the treatment of depressed patients. However, further studies are needed to better clarify its precise role in the management of depressive disorders.

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    ABSTRACT: [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the upper limb of function of patients with post-stroke hemiplegia. [Subjects] Twenty subjects were randomly allocated to either the upper tDCS group or the functional training group, with 10 subjects in each group. [Methods] The two groups received functional training for thirty minutes a day, five days a week for four weeks. The tDCS group additionally received tDCS for 20 minutes. The outcome was assessed by the Box and Block test (BBT), grip strength, and the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA). [Results] There were significant improvements between pre- and post- intervention in both groups, in the BBT, grip strength, and the upper limb and lower lims sub-items of the FMA. The tDCS group showed significantly greater improvements than the control group in the BBT, and upper limb and lower limb sub-items of the FMA. [Conclusion] These findings suggest that tDCS may be more beneficial than functional training for improving the upper and lower limb functions of chronic stroke patients.
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    ABSTRACT: An experimental paradigm consisting of prolonged transcranial stimulation of the human brain with a constant electric field was modeled in living rat hippocampal slices. Exposure to electric fields (14 min, 250 mV/mm) in the anodal and cathodal directions led to statistically significant changes in the amplitudes of total response (pop spikes) to stimulation of Schaffer collaterals (1/30 sec) in field CA1, with increases and decreases respectively. No long-term stimulation aftereffects were seen. Blockade of NMDA receptors with MK-801 eliminated electric field effects and induced a gradual decrease in responses throughout the recording period. It is suggested that the decrease in responses may reflect transfer of synapses to the “silent” state.
    Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology 03/2013; 43(3). DOI:10.1007/s11055-013-9733-0


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Jun 2, 2014