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Br J Psychiatry. 2012 Jan;200(1):52-9. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.097634.

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

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  • 1School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. colleen.loo@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Preliminary evidence suggests transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has antidepressant efficacy.

AIMS:

To further investigate the efficacy of tDCS in a double-blind, sham-controlled trial (registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00763230).

METHOD:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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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PMID:
22215866
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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