Transcranial Direct Stimulation (tDCS)Stimulating the brain
Transcranial Direct Stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive technique that uses a constant, low-power electrical current that is delivered directly to targeted, specific regions of the brain by using two tiny electrodes attached to the scalp.
Research conducted in the last ten years has shown that tDCS can have helpful applications in many different areas of the brain, and when applied as a neuromodulation method, it has shown promise as a way to enhance mathematical capabilities and language abilities, increase focus and attention span, and provide boosts to coordination, memory, and problem solving.
The basics about tDCS were established over 100 years ago, in the 19th century. Initial results of electrical stimulation in both psychotic and depressive patient groups were very promising, but largely supplanted by pharmacological and drug-based solutions in the early 20th century.
After a brief resurgence in the early 1960s, recent studies in the 2000s have placed tDCS solidly within the mainstream of mental treatment technologies as the premiere way to induce excitability changes in the cortex and neurological material of the brain.
How Does tDCS Work?
The technique itself is quite simple. Two electrodes are placed on the head of the patient. An extremely low current (1-2 milliamps) begins to flow between the electrodes, using the targeted area of the brain as a medium through which the circuit is completed.
The effect on the underlying tissue depends on the polarity of the electrode. Cathodes (negative electrodes) decrease the excitability neurons in the brain, while anodes (positive electrodes) increase the activity level of the neurons and cerebral cortex. Taken together, these two effects can provide drastic, long-lastingimpact on brain function. The most promising effect of this technique is that it’s not limited to the duration of treatments – long lasting effects can be achieved that remain long after treatment periods are finished.
The precise long-term synaptic changes that are achieved by tDCS vary, depending on the length and intensity of treatment, and the specifics of the targeted brain areas.
However, there are promising results that tDCS has clinical applications for treating long-term depression, increasing mental acuity by providing long-term potentiation effects, and even as a therapy for clinical disorders like Parkinson’s disease, strokes, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, epilepsy, and others.
The AusCantDCS service
AusCan has a deep understanding of tDCS, and are at the forefront of the emerging medical and psychological benefits that can be achieved by using this cutting-edge, promising technology.
The specifics of treatment for each patient are different.
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