A Literature Mini-Review of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Schizophrenia

Front Psychiatry. 2022 Apr 21;13:874128. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.874128. eCollection 2022.


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive neurostimulation method that utilizes the effect of low-current on brain tissue. In recent years, the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation has been investigated as a therapeutic modality in various neuropsychiatric indications, one of them being schizophrenia. This article aims to provide an overview of the potential application and effect of tDCS in treating patients with schizophrenia. A literature search was performed using the PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases for relevant research published from any date until December 2021. Eligible studies included those that used randomized controlled parallel-group design and focused on the use of transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of positive, negative, or cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Studies were divided into groups based on the focus of research and an overview is provided in separate sections and tables in the article. The original database search yielded 705 results out of which 27 randomized controlled trials met the eligibility criteria and were selected and used for the purpose of this article. In a review of the selected trials, transcranial direct current stimulation is a safe and well-tolerated method that appears to have the potential as an effective modality for the treatment of positive and negative schizophrenic symptoms and offers promising results in influencing cognition. However, ongoing research is needed to confirm these conclusions and to further specify distinct application parameters.

Keywords: direct current stimulation; neurostimulation; review; schizophrenia; schizophrenic; tDCS.

Publication types

  • Review