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    We compared the efficacy and safety of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) vs. Sertraline in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in South Korean participants. This was a multi-center, double blind, active controlled study with non-inferiority testing. Patients were randomly assigned to receive tDCS (n = 45) or Sertraline (n = 47). tDCS was administered in 30-min, 2 mA prefrontal stimulation sessions for 10 consecutive weekdays, followed by 2 treatments at 4 and 6 weeks. Sertraline was administered at a dose of 50 mg per day for 6 weeks. The primary outcome measure was a change in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score at six weeks. Mean MADRS scores decreased by 14.58 ± 8.51 points in the tDCS group and 12.32 ± 8.56 points in the Sertraline group. There was no significant main effect of group (p = 0.5877) or time by group interaction across weeks 0, 3, and 6 (p = 0.1539). Noninferiority of tDCS compared with Sertraline was not demonstrated. The mean difference between the Sertraline and tDCS group was -2.258 (95% confidence interval [CI], -5.795 to 1.27811), and the lower boundary of the CI was lower than the prespecified noninferiority margin of -3.56. There were no significant group differences in the rate of adverse events. In the present study, the noninferiority of tDCS to Sertraline for the treatment of depression was not found in this Korean population. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Sunyoung Park, Won-Jung Choi, Sejoo Kim, Borah Kim, Sang Joon Son, Daeyoung Roh, Woo Jung Kim, Jin Young Park. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation using miniaturized devices vs sertraline for depression in Korea: A 6 week, multicenter, randomized, double blind, active-controlled study. Journal of psychiatric research. 2020 Aug;127:42-47

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    PMID: 32464489

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