Transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance cognition in euthymic bipolar disorder.Bipolar Disord. 2015 Dec; 17(8):849-58.BD
To investigate the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for enhancing working memory and sustained attention in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder.
Fifteen patients with bipolar disorder received anodal left prefrontal tDCS with an extracephalic cathode (prefrontal condition), anodal left prefrontal and cathodal cerebellar tDCS (fronto-cerebellar condition), and sham tDCS given 'online' during performance on a working memory and sustained attention task in an intra-individual, cross-over, sham-controlled experimental design. Exploratory cluster analyses examined responders and non-responders for the different active tDCS conditions on both tasks.
For working memory, approximately one-third of patients in both active tDCS conditions showed performance improvement. For sustained attention, three of 15 patients showed performance improvement with prefrontal tDCS. Responders to active tDCS for working memory performed more poorly on the task during sham tDCS compared to non-responders.
A single session of active prefrontal or fronto-cerebellar tDCS failed to improve working memory or sustained attention performance in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. Several important considerations are discussed in relation to future studies investigating tDCS for enhancing cognition in patients with bipolar disorder.