ISSN 1225-8709 (Print)
ISSN 2005-7571 (Online)
Volume 25, Number 4 (4/2018)
Review Article <page. 89-100 >

Current Update on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation as Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder

Seung-Hoon Lee, MD; and Yong-Ku Kim, MD

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation method that delivers 1-2 mA of current to the scalp. Several clinical studies have been conducted to confirm the therapeutic effect of major depressive disorder (MDD) patients with tDCS. Some studies have shown tDCS's antidepressant effect, while the others showed conflicting results in antidepressant effects. Our aim of this review is to understand the biological bases of tDCS's antidepressant effect and review the results of studies on tDCS's antidepressant effect. For the review and search process of MDD treatment using tDCS, the US National Library of Medicine search engine PubMed was used. In this review, we discuss the biological mechanism of tDCS's antidepressant effect and the existing published literature including meta-analysis, systematic review, control trial, open studies, and case reports of antidepressant effects and cognitive function improvement in patients with MDD are reviewed. We also discuss the appropriate tDCS protocol for MDD patients, factors predictive of response to tDCS treatment, the disadvantages of tDCS in MDD treatment, and side effects.


Key words : Transcranial direct current stimulation;Major depressive disorder.

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