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Kumpf, Ulrike; Stadler, Matthias ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8241-8723; Plewnia, C.; Bajbouj, M.; Langguth, B.; Zwanzger, P.; Normann, C.; Keeser, D.; Schellhorn, K.; Egert-Schwender, S.; Berkes, S.; Palm, U.; Hasan, A. and Padberg, F. (1. September 2021): Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for major depression – Interim analysis of cloud supervised technical data from the DepressionDC trial. In: Brain Stimulation, Vol. 14, No. 5: pp. 1234-1237 [PDF, 444kB]


Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of prefrontal cortex regions has been reported to exert antidepressant effects, though large scale multicenter trials in major depressive disorder (MDD) supporting this notion are still lacking. Application of tDCS in multicenter settings, however, requires measurement, storage and evaluation of technical parameters of tDCS sessions not only for safety reasons but also for quality control. To address this issue, we conducted an interim analysis of supervised technical data across study centers in order to monitor technical quality of tDCS in an ongoing multicenter RCT in MDD (DepressionDC trial).

Methods: Technical data of 818 active tDCS sessions were recorded, stored in a data cloud, and analysed without violating study blinding. Impedance, voltage and current were monitored continuously with one data point recorded every second of stimulation.

Results: Variability of impedance was considerable (1,42 kΩ, to 8,23 kΩ), inter-individually and even more intra-individually, but did not significantly differ between the study centre in Munich and all other sites.

Conclusion: Measurement, centralized data storage via data cloud and remote supervision of technical parameters of tDCS are feasible and proposed for future RCTs on therapeutic tDCS in multiple settings.

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