The interest in non-invasive brain stimulation techniques is increasing in recent years. Among these techniques, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been the subject of great interest among researchers because of its easiness to use, low cost, benign profile of side effects and encouraging results of research in the field. This interest has generated several studies and randomized clinical trials, particularly in psychiatry. In this review, we provide a summary of the development of the technique and its mechanism of action as well as a review of the methodological aspects of randomized clinical trials in psychiatry, including studies in affective disorders, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, child psychiatry and substance use disorder. Finally, we provide an overview of tDCS use in cognitive enhancement as well as a discussion regarding its clinical use and regulatory and ethical issues. Although many promising results regarding tDCS efficacy were described, the total number of studies is still low, highlighting the need of further studies aiming to replicate these findings in larger samples as to provide a definite picture regarding tDCS efficacy in psychiatry.
Tortella, Gabriel; Casati, Roberta; Aparicio, Luana V M; Mantovani, Antonio; Senço, Natasha; D'Urso, Giordano; Brunelin, Jerome; Guarienti, Fabiana; Lorencini Selingardi, Priscila Mara; Muszkat, Débora; Pereira Junior, Bernardo de Sampaio; Valiengo, Leandro; Moffa, Adriano H.; Simis, Marcel; Borrione, Lucas; and Brunoni, Andre R., "Transcranial direct current stimulation in psychiatric disorders" (2015). CUNY Academic Works.