Methods to Enhance Transcranial Direct Stimulation (tDCS)

2014-08-27 03:13:14 | BioPortfolio


tDCS has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression. However, tDCS is a relatively new clinical tool and more needs to be understood about its use. This study hopes to further the field of knowledge by examining how tDCS should be optimally used. Application of tDCS in clinical trials of depression is typically to the prefrontal cortex, but in this project, tDCS application will be to the motor cortex as it provides a more ready measure of excitability. Excitability will be measured using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to the motor cortex and electromyography (EMG) recordings from peripheral muscles stimulated. Using a cross-over three-arm design this study aims to investigate whether daily tDCS administered in increasing intensity across sessions leads to greater and lasting effects on brain excitability than keeping the intensity at a same dose across the days and whether the excitatory effect could be enhanced with D-cycloserine, a medication known to prolong the excitatory effects of a single session of tDCS. This in turn will inform on how to optimize tDCS for therapeutic applications, e.g treatment of depression. The study hypothesis is that 5 sessions of tDCS with a dose of D-cycloserine given on the Monday and Thursday sessions will result in more sustained effect on motor cortex excitability than 5 sessions of tDCS alone. The second hypothesis is that the gradational increases in tDCS intensity over 5 sessions will result in greater motor cortex excitability than 5 sessions of tDCS where intensity is kept constant across sessions.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Dose Comparison, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject)


Healthy Volunteers


Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Transcranial direct Stimulation (tDCS) and D-cycloserine


Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales
New South Wales




The University of New South Wales

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:13:14-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A technique of brain electric stimulation therapy which uses constant, low current delivered via ELECTRODES placed on various locations on the scalp.

The electrical response evoked in a muscle or motor nerve by electrical or magnetic stimulation. Common methods of stimulation are by transcranial electrical and TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION. It is often used for monitoring during neurosurgery.

Removal of tissue with electrical current delivered via electrodes positioned at the distal end of a catheter. Energy sources are commonly direct current (DC-shock) or alternating current at radiofrequencies (usually 750 kHz). The technique is used most often to ablate the AV junction and/or accessory pathways in order to interrupt AV conduction and produce AV block in the treatment of various tachyarrhythmias.

Application of electric current in treatment without the generation of perceptible heat. It includes electric stimulation of nerves or muscles, passage of current into the body, or use of interrupted current of low intensity to raise the threshold of the skin to pain.

The resistance to the flow of either alternating or direct electrical current.

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