Article

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in unipolar vs. bipolar depressive disorder

Centro Clinico per la Neurostimolazione, le Neurotecnologie ed i Disordini del Movimento, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.03). 01/2011; 35(1):96-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2010.09.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive method for brain stimulation. Although pilot trials have shown that tDCS yields promising results for major depressive disorder (MDD), its efficacy for bipolar depressive disorder (BDD), a condition with high prevalence and poor treatment outcomes, is unknown. In a previous study we explored the effectiveness of tDCS for MDD. Here, we expanded our research, recruiting patients with MDD and BDD. We enrolled 31 hospitalized patients (24 women) aged 30-70 years 17 with MDD and 14 with BDD (n = 14). All patients received stable drug regimens for at least two weeks before enrollment and drug dosages remained unchanged throughout the study. We applied tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (anodal electrode on the left and cathodal on the right) using a 2 mA-current for 20 min, twice-daily, for 5 consecutive days. Depression was measured at baseline, after 5 tDCS sessions, one week later, and one month after treatment onset. We used the scales of Beck (BDI) and Hamilton-21 items (HDRS). All patients tolerated treatment well without adverse effects. After the fifth tDCS session, depressive symptoms in both study groups diminished, and the beneficial effect persisted at one week and one month. In conclusion, our preliminary study suggests that tDCS is a promising treatment for patients with MDD and BDD.2.

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