Information for the public
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) involves electrical stimulation of the brain by applying a weak direct current to the scalp. The aim is to change brain activity in the area just under the scalp.
The patient is awake and usually seated during tDCS. A portable battery‑operated stimulator delivers a low‑strength current to 2 electrodes placed on the scalp. Treatment is usually given by a trained doctor, but patients can also do it themselves. Treatment usually involves daily sessions lasting 20–30 minutes for several weeks. tDCS may be used alone or with other treatments for depression.