Front Hum Neurosci. 2022 Feb 8;16:758285. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.758285. eCollection 2022.
Individuals with substance use disorders exhibit risk-taking behaviors, potentially leading to negative consequences and difficulty maintaining recovery. Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have yielded mixed effects on risk-taking among healthy controls. Given the importance of risk-taking behaviors among substance-using samples, this study aimed to examine the effects of tDCS on risk-taking among a sample of adults using cannabis. Using a double-blind design, 27 cannabis users [M(SD) age = 32.48 (1.99), 41% female] were randomized, receiving one session of active or sham tDCS over the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). Stimulation parameters closely followed prior studies with anodal right dlPFC and cathodal left dlPFC stimulation. Risk-taking-assessed via a modified Cambridge Gambling Task-was measured before and during tDCS. Delay and probability discounting tasks were assessed before and after stimulation. No significant effects of stimulation on risk-taking behavior were found. However, participants chose the less risky option ∼86% of the trials before stimulation which potentially contributed to ceiling effects. These results contradict one prior study showing increased risk-taking among cannabis users following tDCS. There was a significant increase in delay discounting of a $1000 delayed reward during stimulation for the sham group only, but no significant effects for probability discounting. The current study adds to conflicting and inconclusive literature on tDCS and cognition among substance-using samples. In conclusion, results suggest the ineffectiveness of single session dlPFC tDCS using an established stimulation protocol on risk-taking, although ceiling effects at baseline may have also prevented behavior change following tDCS.
Source: ncbi 2