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Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and Psychotherapy in Anxiety and Depressive Disorders: A Viewpoint

1
Service de Physiologie, Explorations Fonctionnelles, Hôpital Henri-Mondor, AP-HP, 94010 Créteil, France
2
EA 4391, Excitabilité Nerveuse et Thérapeutique, Université Paris-Est-Créteil, 94010 Créteil, France
3
Neurology Division, Lebanese American University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital (LAUMC-RH), Beirut 1100, Lebanon
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9040082
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 14 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
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Abstract

Among the most prevalent psychiatric conditions stand anxiety and depression. Psychotherapy and medications are considered effective treatments in these clinical settings. However, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy (i.e., cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)) administered in monotherapy or in a combined regimen do not result in satisfactory outcomes in all patients. Therefore, finding new treatments would be of great help. In the last three decades, noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has emerged as a safe tool to improve several neuropsychiatric symptoms. The following work revisits the available reports that assessed the add-on value of NIBS techniques when combined to psychotherapy (CBT or related interventions) in mood and anxiety disorders. The available protocols targeted the prefrontal cortex, a region that was previously found to have an enhanced activity or functional connectivity after psychotherapeutic interventions. Promising yet scarce evidence exists on this matter. A discrepancy exists among the available reports regarding the type and duration of interventions, the patients’ clinical profiles, and the presence of a sham intervention. NIBS may have acted by enhancing psychotherapy effects on the top-down cognitive control of emotions. Combining both therapies may result in promising effects, but future large-scale trials are needed to judge the utility of this combination in psychiatric populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcranial direct current stimulation; tDCS; transcranial magnetic stimulation; TMS; intermittent theta burst stimulation; cognitive behavioral therapy transcranial direct current stimulation; tDCS; transcranial magnetic stimulation; TMS; intermittent theta burst stimulation; cognitive behavioral therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Chalah, M.A.; Ayache, S.S. Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and Psychotherapy in Anxiety and Depressive Disorders: A Viewpoint. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 82.

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