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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-73

A comparative study of the effect of electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial direct current stimulation in the treatment of persons suffering from treatment-resistant depression

1 Department of Psychiatry, Ahana Hospitals; M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Ahana Hospitals, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. P Bijulakshmi
No. 11, Subburam Street, Gandhi Nagar, Madurai - 625 020, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_217_20

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Background: About 20%–30% of persons with major depression are said to have treatment-resistant depression (TRD) when they do not respond to antidepressants. These people continue to suffer in life and have poor quality of life. Although electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the most successful option in treating TRD, many people refuse ECT due to various reasons (stigma, the cost involved, and medical complications). Various studies combine treatment options such as psychotherapy, repetitive trans magnetic stimulation, ketamine, and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in an attempt to reduce symptoms for those people suffering from TRD. This study aims to compare the effectiveness of ECT and tDCS in TRD. Subjects and Methods: A total of 90 persons suffering from TRD were selected for the study. 46 persons received 6 ECTs and 44 persons received 10 sessions of tDCS. Treatment response was measured using baseline and postassessment scores of Hamilton depression rating scale and clinical global impression. The scores were used to determine the effectiveness of ECT in comparison to tDCS in TRD. Statistical Analysis: The mean ± standard deviation was analyzed and paired t-test was used to find the significance of treatment outcome in a group at a 95% confidence interval. Results: ECT was found to be more effective than tDCS in the reduction of depressive symptoms. tDCS showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms (P < 0.001). ECT has yet again been proven to be effective in the treatment of TRD. Conclusion and Discussion: tDCS is effective in reducing depressive symptoms in persons suffering from TRD. However, ECT is superior in decreasing depressive symptoms in TRD when compared to tDCS.

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