Dr. Bikson co-authors article on Psychiatric Times
What Psychiatrists Need to Know About Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
By Marom Bikson, PhD, Gozde Unal, MS, Andre Brunoni, MD, PhD, and Colleen Loo, MD
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a low-intensity, noninvasive form of brain stimulation delivered by a small battery-powered portable machine. Conventionally, 2 disposable electrodes are positioned on the head, and a small current is passed between these electrodes to stimulate the brain “transcranially.” A typical session uses a low-intensity current of 1 to 2 mA (ECT by comparison is 800 mA), which is given continuously for about 30 minutes. Also in contrast to ECT, the tDCS current is continuous (not pulsed) and flows in one direction from the anode electrode to the cathode electrode (“direct current”).