CIUSSS Capitale nationale logo

When the current flows

Shirley Fecteau

Using weak electrical current to treat certain neurological or psychological problems can have very positive effects on certain patients, but the mode of action of this intervention remains mysterious.  Researchers from Université Laval have shed some light on the phenomenon, and have published their results in the journal Biological psychiatry.  Their research shows how the levels of certain neurotransmitters changes, in real time, during Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS).

Such an approach is not new, but «During the last few years, TDCS has re-emerged as we search for new approaches to treat patients who do not respond to pharmacological treatments» says Shirley Fecteau.  Studies show TDCS affects mood, perception of emotions, decision making, memory and problem solving.  Clinical trials suggest it could help in case of severe depression.  "We think it could also help migraine sufferers and addiction.  Yet, we do not know exactly how TDCS affects the brain." adds Dr Fecteau.  

Read an article about Dr. Fecteau's discovery in the Université Laval Community newspaper here: Quand le courant passe le Fil

Read the original research article in the journal Biological Psychiatry:

Online Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Real Time on Human Prefrontal and Striatal Metabolites

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.11.008

 

Funding / Support / Partners

logo FRQ-S logo ctrn logo fci logo cihr irsc logo nserc logo MESISentinelle nord