Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Opium Craving, Depression, and Anxiety: A Preliminary Study

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Opium Craving, Depression, and Anxiety: A Preliminary Study

Article Date: 2019-01-16 (Revised: 2019-01-21)
Authors: Taremian F, Nazari S, Moradveisi L, Moloodi R
PMID Link: 30664050


Journal Information
Title: The journal of ECT
Abbreviation: J ECT
Volume:
Issue:
Date: 2019-01-16
Citation: J ECT 2019 Jan;

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Transcranial direct current stimulation can be effective in reducing the craving for food, alcohol, and methamphetamine. Because its effects have not been tested on patients with opium use disorder, we investigated its efficacy when it is combined with a standard methadone maintenance therapy protocol.

METHODS: We carried out a pretest-posttest control group method to evaluate the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation at the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (right anodal/left cathodal) on opium craving, depression, and anxiety symptoms. We considered opium craving as a primary outcome as well as depression and anxiety symptoms as secondary outcomes. Sixty participants with opium use disorder were randomly assigned into 3 groups (n = 20 for each group): (1) an active transcranial direct current stimulation with methadone maintenance treatment (active tDCS group), (2) sham transcranial direct current stimulation with methadone maintenance treatment (sham tDCS group), and (3) only methadone maintenance treatment (methadone maintenance treatment group). All participants completed the Desire for Drug Questionnaire, Obsessive-Compulsive Drug Use Scale, Beck Depression Inventory II, and Beck Anxiety Inventory a week before and a week after the treatment. The outcomes were assessed by independent assessors who were blind to the treatment conditions.

RESULTS: The active tDCS group had a significant reduction in opium craving, depression, and anxiety symptoms compared with the other 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide a preliminary support for using the transcranial direct current stimulation along with methadone maintenance therapy in the treatment of patients with opium use disorder.

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