Depression and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)

2014-08-27 03:47:31 | BioPortfolio


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)is a non invasive technique which uses a very weak current to change excitability in targeted regions of the brain. Early studies suggest that it has antidepressant properties. This study will test the safety and efficacy of tDCS as a treatment for depression.


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applies a weak direct current across the scalp that can produce sub-threshold changes in the excitability of targeted cortical regions, in a polarity-specific manner. This technique has been used in humans to alter motor and visual cortex excitability, during stimulation, and for a period after the stimulation has ceased. It has therefore been suggested as a possible treatment for depression (Lippold & Redfearn, 1964; Nitsche, 2002). Studies have been launched recently to examine the effect of tDCS in depressed subjects and a sham-controlled pilot study (in USA, in press) has reported promising antidepressant effects with tDCS.

We wish to examine this in an investigation of 20 subjects, and hypothesise that tDCS will have an antidepressant effect and produce no neuropsychological impairment. Subjects will receive anodal DC stimulation or sham stimulation over the left prefrontal cortex in a double-blind, placebo-controlled design over 5 days, and then have daily stimulation up to a maximum of 10 active sessions in total. Outcomes will be formally evaluated by depression rating scales and neuropsychological tests.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation


Black Dog Institute Building, School of Psychiatry, University of NSW
New South Wales




The University of New South Wales

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:47:31-0400

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PubMed Articles [15723 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation in depressive episodes.

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown mixed results for depression treatment.

Targeting the anterior cingulate with bipolar and high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation.

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Transcranial electrical stimulation has broad potential as a treatment for depression. Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), which delivers randomly fluctuating current intensities, may have g...

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A technique of brain electric stimulation therapy which uses constant, low current delivered via ELECTRODES placed on various locations on the scalp.

The electrical response evoked in a muscle or motor nerve by electrical or magnetic stimulation. Common methods of stimulation are by transcranial electrical and TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION. It is often used for monitoring during neurosurgery.

Application of electric current in treatment without the generation of perceptible heat. It includes electric stimulation of nerves or muscles, passage of current into the body, or use of interrupted current of low intensity to raise the threshold of the skin to pain.

Measurable changes in activities in the CEREBRAL CORTEX upon a stimulation. A change in cortical excitability as measured by various techniques (e.g., TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION) is associated with brain disorders.

A technique that involves the use of electrical coils on the head to generate a brief magnetic field which reaches the CEREBRAL CORTEX. It is coupled with ELECTROMYOGRAPHY response detection to assess cortical excitability by the threshold required to induce MOTOR EVOKED POTENTIALS. This method is also used for BRAIN MAPPING, to study NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, and as a substitute for ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY for treating DEPRESSION. Induction of SEIZURES limits its clinical usage.

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