Safety and Efficacy of an Intensified and Repeated Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Targeting Supplementary Motor Area and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder): A Case Report
Jaber Alizadehgoradel1, Asghar Pouresmali2, Mina Taherifard3
1Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran
2Department of Family Health, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran
3Department of Psychology, Mohaghegh-Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran
Correspondence to: Jaber Alizadehgoradel
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zanjan, University Blvd, Zanjan 38791, Iran
Received: April 8, 2023; Revised: May 12, 2023; Accepted: May 24, 2023; Published online: July 17, 2023.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

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Trichotillomania (or hair pulling disorder) is a habitual condition in which patients constantly pull their hair. Although psychotherapies such as behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy have shown relative effectiveness for trichotillomania, some patients fail to respond to these interventions or show only partial responses. Recently, noninvasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation have shown promise in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. We designed a new protocol that included intensified and repeated during 16 sessions, every other day, 2 sessions one day, current intensity of 2 mA for 20 minutes, which regions dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and supplementary motor area (SMA): Anodal (F3) and cathodal (SMA) were selected as stimulation target areas. The results showed that after the electrical stimulation intervention and also in the follow-up phase, there was a significant improvement in hair pulling behavior and psychiatric evaluations such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, there are many hopes in the effectiveness of the protocol used (intensified and repeated DLPFC and SMA areas) in the treatment of trichotillomania disorder, although there is a need for a future experimental study with a larger group of patients.
Keywords: Trichotillomania; Transcranial direct current stimulation

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