“Using Non-invasive Brain Stimulation (tDCS) With Varenicline for Treating Tobacco Dependence”
The addition of tDCS as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy is a novel approach but one that is grounded in a growing evidence-base.The primary objective of this research is to provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of tDCS as an adjunct treatment to pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation. The investigators hypothesize that the addition of active tDCS to the left DLPFC will improve the effectiveness of varenicline as reflected by higher quit rates at end of treatment compared to the sham group. Smoking status will be biochemically confirmed at various time points using expired cotinine measures. Furthermore, the investigators will be collecting neuroimaging (fMRI) data as well as measures of attentional bias to explore the neurological and physiological correlates from using adjunct tDCS and varenicline therapy.
Drug - Varenicline
Varenicline (ChampixÂ®), Pfizer Canada Inc., Kirkland, Quebec. Dispense for 12 weeks. One tablet (0.5mg) once daily for first three days, then one tablet (0.5 mg) twice daily for next four days, then 1 mg (one 1mg tablet) twice daily for the remainder of 12 weeks. Dose adjustments due to adverse events will be allowed (i.e. decrease to 0.5 mg twice daily).
Device - Active tDCS
Active 2mA tDCS (Nuraleve, Canada) with the anode placed over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the cathode placed over the right dlPFC for 20 minutes per session
Device - Sham tDCS
Shame tDCS (Nuraleve, Canada) (30 seconds of 2mA and 19.5 minutes of 0 mA) with the anode placed over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the cathode placed over the right dlPFC for 20 minutes per session.
Using Non-invasive Brain Stimulation (tDCS) to Improve the Effectiveness of Varenicline for Treating Tobacco Dependence: a Randomized Controlled Trial