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Author Notes:

Benjamin M. Hampstead, PhD, ABPP/CN, Neuropsychology Section, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, 2101 Commonwealth Blvd, Suite C, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA, Phone: 734-763-9259, Fax: 734-936-9262,

The contents of this manuscript do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

Marom Bikson declares board membership for Soterix Medical Inc., outside of the submitted work.

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (1R21MH102539-01 to BMH).


  • Anxiety
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
  • brain stimulation
  • functional neuroimaging
  • neuromodulation
  • tDCS

Current Status of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Posttraumatic Stress and Other Anxiety Disorders


Journal Title:

Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports


Volume 3, Number 2


, Pages 95-101

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Several empirically supported treatments have been identified for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet a sizable number of patients are either unable to tolerate these approaches or remain symptomatic following treatment. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a well-tolerated method of modulating neuronal excitability that may hold promise as a novel intervention in PTSD and related disorders. The current review summarizes literature on the disrupted neural circuitry in PTSD and discusses the rationale for the commonly targeted prefrontal cortex (PFC) as it relates to PTSD. We then review the few prior (case) studies that have evaluated tDCS in patients with PTSD (1 study) and other anxiety disorders (4 studies). There was considerable variability in both the methods/justification for selecting the targeted brain region(s) and the tDCS montage used, which obscured any clear trends in the data. Finally, we describe the rationale for our ongoing study that specifically targets the lateral temporal cortex as a method of treating the symptoms of hyperarousal and re-experiencing in PTSD. Overall, it is clear that additional work is needed to establish dosing (e.g., intensity and duration of sessions, number of sessions) and optimal treatment targets as well as to identify synergistic effects with existing treatments.

Copyright information:

© Springer International Publishing AG (outside the USA) 2016

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