Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation in children and young people with psychiatric disorders: a systematic review

Gallop, Lucy, Westwood, Samuel J, Lewis, Yael, Campbell, Iain C and Schmidt, Ulrike 2023. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation in children and young people with psychiatric disorders: a systematic review. European child & adolescent psychiatry. Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-023-02157-0

TitleEffects of transcranial direct current stimulation in children and young people with psychiatric disorders: a systematic review
TypeJournal article
AuthorsGallop, Lucy, Westwood, Samuel J, Lewis, Yael, Campbell, Iain C and Schmidt, Ulrike
AbstractTranscranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has demonstrated benefits in adults with various psychiatric disorders, but its clinical utility in children and young people (CYP) remains unclear. This PRISMA systematic review used published and ongoing studies to examine the effects of tDCS on disorder-specific symptoms, mood and neurocognition in CYP with psychiatric disorders. We searched Medline via PubMed, Embase, PsychINFO via OVID, and Clinicaltrials.gov up to December 2022. Eligible studies involved multiple session (i.e., treatment) tDCS in CYP (≤ 25 years old) with psychiatric disorders. Two independent raters assessed the eligibility of studies and extracted data using a custom-built form. Of 33 eligible studies (participant N = 517), the majority (n = 27) reported an improvement in at least one outcome measure of disorder-specific symptoms. Few studies (n = 13) examined tDCS effects on mood and/or neurocognition, but findings were mainly positive. Overall, tDCS was well tolerated with minimal side effects. Of 11 eligible ongoing studies, many are sham-controlled RCTs (n = 9) with better blinding techniques and a larger estimated participant enrolment (M = 79.7; range 15-172) than published studies. Although encouraging, the evidence to date is insufficient to firmly conclude that tDCS can improve clinical symptoms, mood, or cognition in CYP with psychiatric disorders. Ongoing studies appear of improved methodological quality; however, future studies should broaden outcome measures to more comprehensively assess the effects of tDCS and develop dosage guidance (i.e., treatment regimens). [Abstract copyright: © 2023. The Author(s).]
KeywordsChildren
Psychiatric disorders
tDCS
Young people
Systematic review
JournalEuropean child & adolescent psychiatry
ISSN1435-165X
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-023-02157-0
PubMed ID36764973
Publication dates
Published online11 Feb 2023
Page range10.1007/s00787-023-02157-0

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