Cortical Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex With Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Reduces Cue-Provoked Smoking Craving: A Randomized, Sham-Controlled Study
J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(1):32-40
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: Because neuroimaging studies have shown that
cue-provoked smoking craving is associated with changes in the activity of the
bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), we aimed to investigate
whether a powerful technique of noninvasive brain stimulation, transcranial
direct current stimulation (tDCS), reduces cue-provoked smoking craving as
indexed by a visual analog scale.
Method: We performed a randomized, sham-controlled
crossover study in which 24 subjects received sham and active tDCS (anodal tDCS
of the left and right DLPFC) in a randomized order. Craving was induced by
cigarette manipulation and exposure to a smoking video. The study ran from
January 2006 to October 2006.
Results: Smoking craving was significantly increased
after exposure to smoking-craving cues (p < .0001). Stimulation of both left
and right DLPFC with active, but not sham, tDCS reduced craving significantly
when comparing craving at baseline and after stimulation, without (p = .007)
and with (p = .005) smoking-craving cues. There were no significant mood
changes in any of the conditions of stimulation. Adverse events were mild and
distributed equally across all treatment conditions.
Conclusions: Our findings extend the results of a
previous study on the use of brain stimulation to reduce craving, showing that
cortical stimulation with tDCS is beneficial for reducing cue-provoked craving,
and thus support the further exploration of this technique for smoking