DOI: 10.1101/19004218Jan 23, 2020Paper

Transcranial random noise stimulation for the acute treatment of depression: a randomized-controlled trial

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Stevan NikolinColleen K Loo


Background Transcranial electrical stimulation has broad potential as a treatment for depression. Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), which delivers randomly fluctuating current intensities, may have greater cortical excitatory effects compared to other forms of transcranial electrical stimulation. We therefore aimed to investigate the antidepressant efficacy of tRNS. Methods Depressed participants were randomly assigned by computer number generator to receive 20 sessions of either active or sham tRNS over four weeks in a double-blinded, parallel group randomized-controlled trial. tRNS was delivered for 30mins with a direct current offset of 2mA and a random noise range of 2mA. Primary analyses assessed changes in depression severity using the Montgomery-Asperg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Neuroplasticity, neuropsychological, and safety outcomes were analysed as secondary measures. Results 69 participants were randomised, of which three discontinued treatment early leaving 66 (sham n = 34, active n = 32) for per-protocol analysis. Depression severity scores reduced in both groups (MADRS reduction in sham = 7.0 [95%CI 5.0-8.9]; and active = 5.2 [95%CI 3.2-7.3]). However, there were no differences between active and...Continue Reading

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