Trial of Electrical Direct-Current Therapy versus Escitalopram for Depression

Brunoni et al. 2017. The New England Journal of Medicine.

  • The largest randomised, controlled, double-blind trial on tDCS to date.
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) versus Escitalopram (an SSRI antidepressant) for Depression
  • 245 participants with unipolar depression; 91 were randomly assigned to Escitalopram (escitalopram + sham tDCS), 94 to tDCS (tDCS + oral placebo), and 60 to placebo (oral placebo + sham tDCS).
  • The mean decrease from baseline score was 11.3+6.5 for escitalopram, 9.0+7.1 for tDCS, and 5.8+7.9 for placebo.
  • TDCS was shown to be non-inferior to escitalopram (a non-inferiority margin of -2,75 was used, and the difference was found to be -2.3).
  • TDCS and escitalopram were both superior to placebo.

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