Next Article in Journal
Changes in the Retinal Microvasculature Measured Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography According to Age
Next Article in Special Issue
Strengthened Default Mode Network Activation During Delay Discounting in Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa After Partial Weight Restoration: A Longitudinal fMRI Study
Previous Article in Journal
High-Frequency Near-Infrared Diode Laser Irradiation Attenuates IL-1β-Induced Expression of Inflammatory Cytokines and Matrix Metalloproteinases in Human Primary Chondrocytes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Increased Amygdala Activations during the Emotional Experience of Death-Related Pictures in Complicated Grief: An fMRI Study
Open AccessReview

A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Techniques to Reduce Violence Proneness by Interfering in Anger and Irritability

Psychobiology Department, University of València, Blasco Ibañez Avenue 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030882
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
The field of neurocriminology has proposed several treatments (e.g., pharmacological, brain surgery, androgen-deprivation therapy, neurofeedback) to reduce violence proneness, but unfortunately, their effectiveness has been limited due to their side-effects. Therefore, it is necessary to explore alternative techniques to improve patients’ behavioural regulation with minimal undesirable effects. In this regard, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, which are based on applying changing magnetic fields or electric currents to interfere with cortical excitability, have revealed their usefulness in alleviating the symptomatology of several mental disorders. However, to our knowledge, there are no reviews that assess whether these techniques are useful for reducing violence proneness. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria using the following databases: PsycINFO, PubMed, Dialnet, Psicodoc, Web of Knowledge, and the Cochrane Library. We initially identified 3746 entries, and eventually included 56 publications. Most of the studies were unanimous in concluding that the application of these techniques over the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was not sufficient to promote anger and irritability reductions in euthymic individuals of both genders. Nevertheless, the application of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, especially transcranial direct current stimulation, over the right PFC seemed to reduce violent reactions in these individuals by interfering with the interpretation of the unfavourable situations (e.g., threating signals) or inner states that evoked anger. In antisocial and pathological populations, the conclusions were provided by a few pilot studies with important methodological weaknesses. The main conclusion of these studies was that bilateral stimulation of the PFC satisfactorily reduced anger and irritability only in inmates, patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), people who suffered a closed-head injury, and agitated patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, combining these techniques with risperidone considerably reduced aggressiveness in these patients. Therefore, it is necessary to be cautious about the benefits of these techniques to control anger, due the methodological weaknesses of these studies. Nonetheless, they offer valuable opportunities to prevent violence by designing new treatments combining brain stimulation with current strategies, such as psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, in order to promote lasting changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: anger; brain; magnetic stimulation; prefrontal cortex; violence anger; brain; magnetic stimulation; prefrontal cortex; violence
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Romero-Martínez, Á.; Bressanutti, S.; Moya-Albiol, L. A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Techniques to Reduce Violence Proneness by Interfering in Anger and Irritability. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 882.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop