Article

Transcranial direct current stimulation for depression: 3-week, randomised, sham-controlled trial

School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science (Impact Factor: 7.34). 01/2012; 200(1):52-9. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.097634
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Preliminary evidence suggests transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has antidepressant efficacy.
To further investigate the efficacy of tDCS in a double-blind, sham-controlled trial (registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00763230).
Sixty-four participants with current depression received active or sham anodal tDCS to the left prefrontal cortex (2 mA, 15 sessions over 3 weeks), followed by a 3-week open-label active treatment phase. Mood and neuropsychological effects were assessed.
There was significantly greater improvement in mood after active than after sham treatment (P<0.05), although no difference in responder rates (13% in both groups). Attention and working memory improved after a single session of active but not sham tDCS (P<0.05). There was no decline in neuropsychological functioning after 3-6 weeks of active stimulation. One participant with bipolar disorder became hypomanic after active tDCS.
Findings confirm earlier reports of the antidepressant efficacy and safety of tDCS. Vigilance for mood switching is advised when administering tDCS to individuals with bipolar disorder.

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