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Séminaire - Vincent Van Waes Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to treat addiction-related behaviors: Insights from animal models

Abstract :

New technologies have recently demonstrated promise for the treatment of several psychiatric disorders, including addiction. Among these techniques, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is of particular interest. tDCS is a non-invasive brain stimulation method that modulates cortical excitability. The few existing clinical data show that tDCS applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduces craving for alcohol and psychostimulants in regular users and/or dependent patients. However, there is no consensus yet for the use of tDCS in clinical practice. This is probably partly because the neurobiological mechanisms underlying tDCS effects are not clearly defined. To gain a better understanding of the mode of action of tDCS, we have developed and validated this technique in mice, in cooperation with a biotech company (DIXI medical, France). We have collected behavioral data confirming the beneficial effect of tDCS on addiction-related behavior in mice.

Currently, we are exploring neurobiological mechanisms underlying these effects. This work should allow us to develop an innovative and affordable clinical tool to reduce craving for alcohol and other drugs of abuse, thereby facilitating drug consumption cessation in dependent patients.

Selected publications

1)    Pedron S., Beverley J., Haffen E., Andrieu P., Sechter D., Steiner H., and Van Waes V.
Transcranial direct current stimulation produces long-lasting attenuation of cocaine-induced behavioral responses and gene regulation in corticostriatal circuits
Addiction Biology, in press, 2016

2)    Van Waes V., Ehrlich S., Beverley J., and Steiner H.
Fluoxetine potentiation of methylphenidate-induced gene regulation in striatal output pathways: Potential role for 5HT1B receptor
Neuropharmacology, Vol. 89C, p77-86, 2015

3)    Bennabi D.*, Pedron S.*, Haffen E., Monnin J., Peterschmitt Y., and Van Waes V.
Transcranial direct current stimulation for cognitive enhancement: from clinical research to animal models
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, Vol. 8, Art. 159, 2014*co-first authors

4)    Pedron S., Monnin J., Haffen E., Sechter D., and Van Waes V.
Repeated transcranial direct current stimulation prevents abnormal behaviors associated with abstinence from chronic nicotine consumption
Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 39 (4), p981-988, 2014

5)    Steiner H. and Van Waes V.
Addiction-Related Gene Regulation: Risks of exposure to cognitive enhancers vs. other psychostimulants
Progress in Neurobiology, Vol. 100, p60-80, 2013