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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 10, 594 - 599

Short report

Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques in psychiatric disorders: influential factors and combination of interventions

M.-A. Vanderhasselt, J. Dedoncker, M. Arns, C. Baeken

background The causal influence of cortico-subcortical connectivity by means of brain stimulation seems to be an effective biological treatment in psychiatric patients.
aim To review the working mechanisms and moderating factors of two non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (NIBS), namely repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
method We reviewed the current literature on the use of nibs in neuropsychiatric disorders.
results First of all, stimulation parameters (location of the stimulation, intensity and duration of the stimulation, number of sessions) are important for the effect of nibs. Secondly, it is important to consider the non-specific neuroplasticity that results from NIBS. Thirdly, recent studies suggest that NIBS should be combined with neurobehavioral interventions, namely cognitive interventions, for the purpose of modulating specific neural processes (i.e. specific neuroplasticity).
conclusion If we want to improve the NIBS treatment in neuropsychiatric patients, we need to consider the factors that influence the patients’ response to treatment with rTMS and tDCS.

keywords psychiatric disorder, rTMS, tDCS