Feasibility of Computerized Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Combined With Bifrontal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Treatment of Major Depression

Feasibility of Computerized Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Combined With Bifrontal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Treatment of Major Depression

Article Date: 2018-08-28 (Revised: 2018-08-28)
Authors: Welch ES, Weigand A, Hooker JE, Philip NS, Tyrka AR, Press DZ, Carpenter LL
PMID Link: 30153360


Journal Information
Title: Neuromodulation : journal of the International Neuromodulation Society
Abbreviation: Neuromodulation
Volume:
Issue:
Date: 2018-08-28
Citation: Neuromodulation 2018 Aug;

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) has demonstrated preliminary antidepressant effects and beneficial effects on cognitive function.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the feasibility and acceptability of using tDCS to enhance the effects of computer-based CBT for treatment of MDD.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study, 14 patients with MDD on stable or no pharmacotherapy received active or sham bifrontal tDCS for four weeks with concurrent CBT.

RESULTS: Ten participants completed the protocol. Three withdrew from the study because of lack of efficacy or dislike of the eCBT program. One was discontinued from the protocol by the investigators. Treatment was well tolerated, and most side-effects were mild and consistent with prior tDCS research. Pooled data from both groups showed significant baseline to endpoint improvement in depression (p = 0.008). Overall percent change on the HAMD-21 was 28.98%. The study was underpowered to detect differences in tDCS treatment groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Combining tDCS with computer-based CBT is feasible for MDD. Further work is needed to evaluate potential synergistic effects of combined tDCS and CBT.

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