Multiple Comparison of Different Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and Pharmacologic Interventions in Patients With Methamphetamine Use Disorders: A Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

SOURCE: Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences. 76(12):633-643, 2022 Dec.

AUTHORS: Wu MK; Satogami K; Liang CS; Stubbs B; Carvalho AF; Brunoni AR; Su KP; Tu YK; Wu YC; Chen TY; Li DJ; Lin PY; Hsu CW; Chen YW; Suen MW; Zeng BY; Takahashi S; Tseng PT; Li CT

In recent decades, the prevalence of amphetamine and methamphetamine use disorders has at least doubled in some regions/countries, with accompanying high risks of drug overdose-associated mortality. Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) methods may be effective treatments. However, the comparative efficacy of the NIBS protocol for amphetamine/methamphetamine use disorder (AUD/MUD) remains unknown to date. The aim of this network meta-analysis (NMA) was to compare the efficacy and acceptability of various NIBS methods/protocols for AUD/MUD management.

METHODS: A frequentist model-based NMA was conducted. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the efficacy of NIBS and guideline-recommended pharmacologic treatments to reduce craving severity in patients with either AUD or MUD.

RESULTS: Twenty-two RCTs including 1888 participants met the eligibility criteria. Compared with the sham/placebo group (study = 19, subjects = 891), a combination of intermittent theta burst stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and continuous TBS over the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex (study = 1, subjects = 19) was associated with the largest decreases in craving severity [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -1.50; 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) = -2.70 to -0.31]. High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the left DLPFC was associated with the largest improvements in depression and quality of sleep (study = 3, subjects = 86) (SMD = -2.48; 95%CIs = -3.25 to -1.71 and SMD = -2.43; 95%CIs = -3.38 to -1.48, respectively). The drop-out rate of most investigated treatments did not significantly differ between groups.

CONCLUSION: The combined TBS protocol over the prefrontal cortex was associated with the greatest improvement in craving severity. Since few studies were available for inclusion, additional large-scale randomized controlled trials are warranted.