2) transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)     is not cleared in the US but in the European Union is approved for Fibromyalgia and Migraine also...

1) it is widely used  by video gamers and others who seek to optimize brain function (& Their KDR) for more info click here

2) is being investigated by the military to reduce learning time in training for more info click here or here

3) has a large amount of scientific investigation and interest (> 6,000 articles on MedLine) to see all, click here

4) has been studied for mood disorders, schizophrenia, OCD, stroke, head trauma, and weight loss. It is too soon to know whether it is effective.

5) can be done with inexpensive devices purchased on the internet ($39 - $150) or more expensive devices designed for iontophoresis ($400-1200) (eg ActivaDose or Chattanooga)

6) the exact placement location of the electrodes (montage) is very important for what part of the brain is stimulated or inhibited


tdcs web2.png
Devices designed and approved for iontophoresis can be safely used for tDCS

Devices designed and approved for iontophoresis can be safely used for tDCS

Click on the picture above to read the outstanding New Yorker article "Electrified" Adventures in transcranial direct-current stimulation. BY ELIF BATUMAN



Of the many articles on tDCS, more than 1,000 scientific publications describe applications of tDCS for these and other uses:

Auditory Hallucinations (Koops 2015)

Autism (D'Urso 2015)

Cerebral Palsy (Duarte Nde 2014, D'Urso 2014, Grecco 2013)

Cognitive Enhancement (Kantak 2015, Parasuraman 2014, Bennabi 2014, Martin 2014, Lally 2013)

Dementia (Elder 2015, Meinzer 2015, Sandrini 2014, Mahdavi 2014, Hansen 2014, Khedr 2014, Babiloni 2014, Boggio 2009)

Depression (Brunoni 2015, Shiozawa 2015, Palm 2015, Gálvez 2015, Dell'Osso 2014, Vigod 2014, Ho 2014, Player 2014, Dell'Osso 2014, Brunoni 2014, Valiengo 2013, Alonzo 2013, Martin 2013, Berlim 2013, Blumberger 2012, Loo 2012, Murphy 2009)

Eating Disorders (Widdows 2014)

Fibromyalgia (Fagerlund 2015, Marlow 2013, Valle 2009, Fregni 2006)

Functional Neurological Disorders (McWhirter 2015)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (Shiozawa 2014)

Migraine (DaSilva 2015) 

MS Fatigue (Ferrucci 2014)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Senço 2015, Narayanaswamy 2015)

Pain (Concerto 2015, O'Neill 2015, O'Connell 2015, Boldt 2014, Boldt 2014, O'Connell 2014, Fagerlund 2013, Moreno-Duarte 2014, Nizard 2012, Luedtke 2012, O'Connell 2012)

Chronic Low Back Pain (Luedtke 2015)

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (Choi 2014)

Neuropathic Pain (Mehta 2015, Razumov 2015, Nardone 2013)

Parkinson’s (Li 2015, Gajo 2015, Manenti 2014, Doruk 2014, Benninger 2010)

PTSD (Marin 2014, Wu 2008)

Schizophrenia (Mondino 2015, Praharaj 2015, Nieuwdorp 2015, Shenoy 2015, Shivakumar 2015, Jacks 2014, Miyamoto 2014, Jacks 2014, Hoy 2014, Andrade 2013, Nawani 2013, Brunelin 2013)

Stroke (Mortensen 2015, Gall 2015, Claflin 2015, Ang 2015, Marchina 2015, Pollock 2014, Gillick 2014, Di Pino 2014, Lüdemann-Podubecká 2014, Plow2014, Pollock 2014, Tahtis 2014, Plow 2013, Bradnam 2013, Dmochowski 2013, Ang 2012, Edwardson 2013, Kandel 2012, Takeuchi 2012, Butler 2013, Kim 2009)

Post Stroke Aphasia (Galletta 2015, Elsner 2015, Thiel, Khedr 2014, Manenti, 2015, Lee 2013, Elsner 2013)

Tinnitus (Pal 2015, Shekhawat 2015, Shekhawat 2014, Shekhawat 2015, Joos 2014, Vanneste 2014, Lee 2014, Elsner 2013, Shekhawat 2013, De Ridder 2012, Langguth 2012, Plewnia 2011, Vanneste 2010)

TMJ (Oliveira 2015)

Traumatic Brain Injury (Shin 2014, Leśniak 2014)

Sleep & Fatigue (post-polio syndrome) (Acler 2013)


unlike the tACS, there is no frequency, pulse width, pulse shape to adjust but there are different ways to position the electrodes (montages)

By positioning the electrodes differently, one can individualize the effect you want.

There are many sources to learn about different montages, the pictures above are from tDCSPlacements.com    click on the pictures or below to go there

If you want to buy a tDCS unit to use at home you can do it. I neither encourage nor discourage this. In general it is safe. There are many devices to choose from. The Soterix and NeuroConn are in the $3,000-$10,000 range and are probably good devices but there is no evidence that they are safer or more effective.  ActivaDose is probably the best value ($350) it is a medical grade device and FDA cleared in the US for another purpose. They have high quality standards. The Chattanooga was smaller, more portable and had two outputs instead of one, but it is no longer available and was not as user friendly. If you look on Amazon or EBay you will find $20-$100 devices that are not good. But there is a well engineered tDCS device called "PriorMind" ($150) by a brilliant young engineer in Hong Kong named Tam Zombie (ta_zombi). It works extremely well and has circuitry which keeps the current constant even if the impedance varies. It turns on at 0.5mA and can be increased to 2.0mA. It does not turn off automatically so caution is needed to turn it off. www.foc.us is the most obvious and best choice for most people. They have complete systems for $99 that have everything you need. Having purchased and used almost every device on the market, I am most impressed with Foc.us. I order their products no matter what, because I have never been disappointed with them. But in the office I used the ActivaDose device for legal reasons because it has a legal status (FDA cleared for iontophoresis) whereas the Foc.us is technically a recreational device.