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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 129-148

Insights and future directions on the combined effects of mind-body therapies with transcranial direct current stimulation: An evidence-based review


1 Neuromodulation Center and Center for Clinical Research Learning, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 96-13th Street, Charlestown, Boston, MA, USA
2 Neuromodulation Center and Center for Clinical Research Learning, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 96-13th Street, Charlestown, Boston, MA, USA; Research Unit for the Generation and Synthesis of Evidence in Health, San Ignacio de Loyola University, Lima, Peru
3 Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
4 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS); Laboratory of Pain and Neuromodulation at Hospital das Clínicas de Porto Alegre (HCPA), Porto Alegre, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Felipe Fregni
Neuromodulation Center and Center for Clinical Research Learning, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 96 13th Street, Charlestown, Boston, MA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijprm.JISPRM-000167

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Mind-body therapies (MBTs) use mental abilities to modify electrical neural activity across brain networks. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that modulates neuronal membrane potentials to enhance neuroplasticity. A combination of these treatment strategies may generate synergistic or additive effects and thus has been more commonly tested in clinical trials, fostering a novel yet promising field of research. We conducted a literature search in four different databases including only randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that tested the combination of MBTs with tDCS. Ten studies (n = 461) were included. Combined protocols included meditation/mindfulness (8/10), biofeedback (1/10), and hypnosis (1/10). The RCTs were heterogeneous with regard to population, design, and types of outcomes. Based on the findings of this search, we provide here a content description, methodological and practical insights, and future directions for the field. We hope this review will provide future authors with information to facilitate the development of trials with improved protocols.


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