Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation - tDCS

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive technique facing renewed interest as a potential treatment for neurological disorders. It involves placing two electrodes on the scalp to generate a mild electric current. Typically, the effect will depend on polarity, with anodal tDCS exciting the nearby cerebral cortex and cathodal tDCS decreasing excitability. Although the cause is not well understood, a treatment series of several daily sessions has been associated with some therapeutic benefit in tinnitus, stroke-caused motor defects, fibromyalgia, depression, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. It has also been considered for potential use in depression, Alzheimer’s disease, migraine aura symptoms, and central neuropathic pain. The effects of tDCS can be modified in combination with drug therapy, and it may have an effect on other neurostimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.


Reviewed March 4, 2012
Lawrence Poree, MD, PhD
Member, International Neuromodulation Society
Professor, University of California School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesia, San Francisco CA, USA

Last Updated on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:05 PM