Protocol for transcranial direct current stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating disorder with an approximate lifetime prevalence of 1–3%. Despite advances in leading treatment modalities, including pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, some cases remain treatment resistant. Non-invasive brain stimulation has been explored in this treatment-resistant population with some promising findings; however, a lack of methodological rigor has reduced the quality of the findings. The current paper presents the protocol for conducting research into the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the treatment of OCD. A double-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted involving active tDCS vs. sham tDCS on 40 general OCD patients. The intervention consists of 2 mA anodal stimulation over the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) with the cathode positioned over the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Participants will receive 10 sessions of 20 min of either sham-or active-tDCS over 4 weeks. Outcomes will be categorical and dimensional measures of OCD, as well as related secondary clinical measures (depression, anxiety, quality of life), and neurocognitive functions (inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility).
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