Adverse event monitoring and reporting in pediatric neuromodulatory studies: A systematic review

J Psychiatr Res. 2024 May 15;175:359-367. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2024.05.035. Online ahead of print.


Neuromodulatory interventions are relatively novel and approaches to studying harms and tolerability have varied. Using a checklist based on guidelines from Good Clinical Practice and the Harms Extension of the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement, we identified how adverse events are measured, assessed, and reported in studies evaluating neuromodulation for the treatment of mental and neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. A systematic literature review identified 56 experimental and quasi-experimental studies evaluating transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial alternating (tACS) or direct (tDCS) current stimulation, transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS), and vagus or trigeminal nerve stimulation (VNS or TNS). For 22 studies (39%), the types of adverse events to be monitored were identified, and for 31 studies (55%), methods for collecting adverse event data were described. Methods for assessing adverse events were less commonly described with 23 studies (41%) having details on assessing event severity, and 11 studies (20%) having details on assessing event causality. Among 31 studies with reported results, headache, skin irritation, and general pain or discomfort were the most reported across studies. Seizure, untoward medical occurrences, and intracranial bleeding, edema, or other intracranial pathology were considered serious events, but these events were not reported as occurring in any results-based papers. Taken together, the findings from this review indicate that most studies of pediatric neuromodulatory interventions did not include descriptions of adverse event monitoring and evaluation. Comprehensive event monitoring and reporting across studies can significantly augment the current knowledge base.

PMID:38761518 | DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2024.05.035