Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive, painless form of targeted brain stimulation that uses a low direct current (1-2mA) to affect the activity of specific brain areas via electrodes on the scalp. Although tDCS is still an experimental form of neurostimulation, numerous studies have shown that tDCS can provide clinical benefits for several conditions such as major depression, stroke, aphasia, chronic pain, tinnitus, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease amongst others. Further, the research utility of tDCS has been proven to be valuable in understanding human brain networks by providing a tool capable of safely affecting neuronal activity.
tDCS should not be confused with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which uses a much greater electrical current than tDCS. Unlike ECT, which is known to affect the functioning of the entire brain, tDCS is far more selective in its effects. Moreover, the effect of a single session of tDCS is temporary and will disappear over time. To achieve long-term effects, multiple sessions of tDCS need to be performed. The most common side effect of tDCS is a slight itching or tingling sensation directly beneath the tDCS electrodes.
By combining this targeted neurostimulation device with our research efforts in post-traumatic stress disorder, memory, traumatic brain injury, mild cognitive impairment and healthy populations, we hope to prime the brain and enhance plasticity to incrementally increase brain health and performance using tDCS.