Can brain stimulation be used to reduce anxiety in those with trait anxiety?
A new study published by the University of Oxford seems to suggest so!
A placebo-controlled study with 16 human subjects with trait anxiety, found that a single session of tDCS over the prefrontal cortex reduced the amygdala fear signaling response and increased frontoparietal attentional control.
According to the paper, this study provides a potential neurocognitive mechanism (biomarker) that may be used in accurately reporting the clinical efficacy of DLPFC tDCS–this biomarker may have potential for benchmarking novel stimulation protocols in the future in order to accelerate the development of treatment for major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. This study is also among the first to suggest causal evidence among humans of an association between the prefrontal cortex, attentional control networks, and the amygdala in regulating threat processing in those with trait anxiety.
Link to the study: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2707242?utm_campaign=articlePDF&utm_medium=articlePDFlink&utm_source=articlePDF&utm_content=jamapsychiatry.2018.2172