Transcranial direct current stimulation for the outpatient treatment of poor-responder depressed patients

B. Dell'Osso, S. Zanoni, R. Ferrucci, M. Vergari, F. Castellano, N. D'Urso, C. Dobrea, B. Benatti, C. Arici, A. Priori, A. C. Altamura

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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a selective, painless, brain stimulation technique that allows the electric stimulation of specific cortical regions. TDCS has been recently used as investigational intervention for major depression and treatment resistant depression (TRD) with encouraging results. The present study was aimed to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of tDCS in major depressives with poor response to pharmacological treatment. Twenty-three depressed patients, with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, were treated with augmentative tDCS for 5 days, two sessions per day in a blind-rater trial. The course of depressive symptoms was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA for HAM-D and MADRS total scores. A qualitative analysis on the basis of the HAM-D response was performed as well. Both analyses were conducted at three time-points: T0 (baseline), T1 (endpoint tDCS) and T2 (end of the first week of follow-up). All patients completed the trial without relevant side-effects. A significant reduction of HAM-D and MADRS total scores was observed during the study (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-517
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Augmentation
  • Brain stimulation
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
  • Treatment-resistant depression (TRD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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