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Transcranial direct current stimulation

Transcranial direct current stimulation

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Transcranial direct current stimulation infographic
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Transcranial direct current stimulation is a novel method of stimulating the brain, using small electric currents. It helps in the treatment of some diseases and has other applications.

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Possible Benefits

  • Stimulates higher cognitive functions
  • Helps control pain
  • Helps treat migraines
  • It may help to control some of the symptoms of Parkinson's
  • Improves mood
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Required Equipment

Biomedical equipment for transcranial stimulation (only present in health institutions)

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How to Do It


FIND A CERTIFIED TRAINED PRACTITIONER of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. 

This is what the procedure may look like. Through a helmet, small electrical currents are applied to the brain. It is applied in different areas depending on the need. It is a non-surgical method.

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Why it works

  • The brain works through electrical currents and biochemical changes. This type of stimulation makes changes in the electrical functioning of the neurons. Thus, different benefits are obtained. 
  • It can improve brain plasticity. That is the ability of the brain to change and adapt to new situations.
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Time Commitment

5-30 minutes per session

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Suggested Frequency

According to medical criteria. It's usually at least 10 sessions.

There are no standard criteria on frequency of sessions [5].

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Time of Day

According to medical criteria.

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Possible Side Effects

Tingling in the stimulated area. 

A low percentage of people have headaches or nausea.

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  • Being a new and investigative technique, it is usually used in hospitals or health institutions.
  • It appears that healthy people may improve their cognitive ability through this stimulation. 
  • Check with your doctor to see if you can use this technique.
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14677402
  2. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): A Beginner's Guide for Design and Implementation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5702643/
  3. A systematic review of the clinical efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in psychiatric disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26765514
  4. Physiology of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29877965
  5. Daily transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) leads to greater increases in cortical excitability than second daily transcranial direct current stimulation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22037139
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