1 Recommendations

1 Recommendations

1.1 Alpha‑Stim AID shows promise for managing anxiety disorders. However, there is not enough good-quality evidence to support the case for routine adoption.

1.2 Research is recommended to address uncertainties about Alpha‑Stim AID's:

  • short- and long-term efficacy

  • position in the care pathway for managing anxiety disorders and

  • resource impact.

    This research should include:

  • a study to better understand how Alpha‑Stim AID affects brain function in people with anxiety disorders

  • a randomised controlled trial comparing Alpha‑Stim AID with individual cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), medication or both.

    Find out details of the research recommended in section 4.11.

Why the committee made these recommendations

Treatment for anxiety disorders usually includes CBT, medication or both. Alpha‑Stim AID uses an electric current intended to generate calming brain waves, which may relieve anxiety symptoms.

Clinical trial evidence shows that Alpha‑Stim AID can relieve anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. But it is not clear how this happens and how much benefit people get. Also, the evidence is of low quality. How long any benefit lasts is unclear because most of the trials lasted for only 5 or 6 weeks. There is also no evidence comparing Alpha‑Stim AID with individual CBT or medication.

The effect of adopting Alpha‑Stim AID on costs and resources is unclear because its clinical effectiveness and its position in the care pathway are uncertain. Alpha‑Stim AID is not recommended for routine adoption and further research is needed.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)