Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: A viable therapeutic option for depression?

  • George Huntington University of Sheffield Medical School

Abstract


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neurostimulation that has recently regained popularity in its experimental use. tDCS utilizes a direct current applied to the scalp via electrodes to induce long-term changes to cortical excitability. A series of recent studies and reviews concluded its efficacy as a potential treatment for major depressive disorder. However, further research is required to establish effective montages and intensities of treatment to promote efficacy while reducing adverse effects. These potential future studies should include wider representative samples with more detailed reporting of adverse effects. Until then, this perspective piece argues that tDCS should continue to be considered as a potential addition to the therapies used to manage depression.

Author Information

George Huntington, University of Sheffield Medical School
George Huntington is a medical student at the University of Sheffield interested in psychiatry, particularly electrotherapies and psychosis.

References

(1) Parent A. “Aldini's Essay on Galvanism" The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences November 2004 31, (4): 576–584.
(2) Fregni F, Boggio PS, Nitsche M, Pascual-Leone A. “Transcranial direct current stimulation” British Journal of Psychiatry 2005, 186:446-447

(3) Albert DJ. “The effects of polarizing currents on the consolidation of learning.” Neuropsychologia 1966, 4, 65–77.
(4) Nitsche MA, Boggio PS, Fregni F, Pascual-Leone A. "Treatment of depression with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS): A Review". Experimental Neurology 2009, 219 (1): 14–9.
(5) Fregni F, Boggio PS, Nitsche MA, Marcolin MA, Rigonatti SP, Pascual-Leone A. "Treatment of major depression with transcranial direct current stimulation". Bipolar Disorders 2006, 8 (2): 203–4.
(6) Loo CK, Alonzo A, Martin D, Mitchell PB, Galvez V, Sachdev P. “Transcranial direct current stimulation for depression: 3-week, randomised, sham-controlled trial” British Journal of Psychiatry 2012, 200:52-59.
(7)http://www.nhsconfed.org/~/media/Confederation/Files/Publications/Documents/Key_facts_mental_health_080911.pdf accessed 26/05/2014 @ 16:30
(8) Arroll B, Elley CR, Fishman T, Goodyear-Smith FA, Kenealy T, Blashki G, Kerse N, MacGillivray S. “Antidepressants versus placebo for depression in primary care.”Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group 2009
(9) http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/dayslost.htm accessed 26/05/2014 @ 16:30
(10) Bell S, Clark D, Knapp M, Layard, Meacher, Priebe S, Thornicroft G, Turnberg, Wright B. “The Depression Report: A New Deal for Depression and Anxiety Disorders.” TheLondon School of Economics 2006.
(11) Abbott A. “Novartis to shut brain research facility” Nature 2011, 480 161–162
Published
21-Dec-2015
How to Cite
Huntington, G. (2015, December 21). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: A viable therapeutic option for depression?. Res Medica, 23(1), 82-85. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.2218/resmedica.v23i1.1190
Section
Perspective Article