Transcranial direct current stimulation

What is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)?

tDCS is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation similar to transcranial magnetic stimulation, but instead of using magnets, it uses a low-intensity, constant current applied through scalp electrodes. Generally, anodal stimulation induces an increase of cortical excitability, whereas cathodal stimulation decreases cortical excitability, with effects that last beyond the stimulation period. Dose involves current intensity, duration of stimulation and size of electrodes. While most people with schizophrenia respond adequately to antipsychotic medication, some find it is not completely effective for all of their symptoms. tDCS is currently being investigated as an additional treatment for these people.

What is the evidence for tDCS?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefits of tDCS for symptoms of schizophrenia; more research is needed.

March 2019

Last updated at: 3:30 am, 13th March 2019
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Title Colour Legend:
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Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.