A Clinical Case Series of Acute and Maintenance Home Administered Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

Le et al, 2022. The Journal of ECT.

  • A retrospective examination of clinical data from up to 2.5 years of treatment in 16 patients.
  • The cohort was highly treatment-resistant wherein 15 of 16 patients failed 3 trials or more of antidepressant medication in the current episode, and 6 patients failed to gain significant benefit from prior ECT or rTMS.
  • Twelve patients received acute treatment for a current depressive episode and 4 commenced tDCS maintenance therapy after responding to ECT or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).
  • Five of 12 patients responded to acute tDCS within 6 weeks, and 9 patients who received tDCS for more than 12 weeks maintained improvements over several months.
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation given for at least 6 weeks may be of clinical benefit even in treatment-resistant depression.
  • Results provide support for long-term effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of remotely supervised home administered tDCS (HA-tDCS) and suggest a role for maintenance tDCS after acute treatment with tDCS, rTMS, or ECT.


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