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Transcranial direct current stimulation and neuroplasticity genes: implications for psychiatric disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2015

Harleen Chhabra
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Venkataram Shivakumar
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Sri Mahavir Agarwal
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Anushree Bose
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Deepthi Venugopal
Affiliation:
Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Department of Human Genetics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Ashwini Rajasekaran
Affiliation:
Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Department of Human Genetics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Manjula Subbanna
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Sunil V. Kalmady
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Janardhanan C. Narayanaswamy
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Monojit Debnath
Affiliation:
Department of Human Genetics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Ganesan Venkatasubramanian
Affiliation:
The Schizophrenia Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Corresponding
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Abstract

Background and Aim

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive and well-tolerated brain stimulation technique with promising efficacy as an add-on treatment for schizophrenia and for several other psychiatric disorders. tDCS modulates neuroplasticity; psychiatric disorders are established to be associated with neuroplasticity abnormalities. This review presents the summary of research on potential genetic basis of neuroplasticity-modulation mechanism underlying tDCS and its implications for treating various psychiatric disorders.

Method

A systematic review highlighting the genes involved in neuroplasticity and their role in psychiatric disorders was carried out. The focus was on the established genetic findings of tDCS response relationship with BDNF and COMT gene polymorphisms.

Result

Synthesis of these preliminary observations suggests the potential influence of neuroplastic genes on tDCS treatment response. These include several animal models, pharmacological studies, mentally ill and healthy human subject trials.

Conclusion

Taking into account the rapidly unfolding understanding of tDCS and the role of synaptic plasticity disturbances in neuropsychiatric disorders, in-depth evaluation of the mechanism of action pertinent to neuroplasticity modulation with tDCS needs further systematic research. Genes such as NRG1, DISC1, as well as those linked with the glutamatergic receptor in the context of their direct role in the modulation of neuronal signalling related to neuroplasticity aberrations, are leading candidates for future research in this area. Such research studies might potentially unravel observations that might have potential translational implications in psychiatry.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 

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