Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a type of noninvasive brain stimulation that can be used in the treatment of depression and anxiety, and for cognitive, speech or motor symptoms related to conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and other movement disorders. NYU Langone’s tDCS Program offers at-home tDCS sessions tailored to your individual needs and therapeutic goals under video supervision through the NYU Langone Health app.
During tDCS, a low-grade electric current is applied through electrodes placed on the scalp using a headset. The stimulation changes activity in the brain by making it easier for neurons to fire, which can help improve brain connections. Over time, this treatment may relieve symptoms, for instance in depression.
If the goal is for rehabilitation, the stimulation can be paired together with training activities to increase the benefit. For instance, you can complete the stimulation while training with a therapist or using one of our digital health programs for cognitive or speech and language training, or while doing seated motor exercises as directed by a physical therapist.
Our experts from the tDCS Program speak with you and ask you some questions about your health. After they determine that you are eligible for this service, we provide a clinical assessment that can be repeated over time to track your progress. During this initial visit, you receive a tDCS device, and our experts train you on how to use it in order to complete your sessions from home. The team provides you with a customized tDCS setup, including electrode placement and stimulation intensity, and associated training activities to maximize your results.
At the start of each session, you connect with one of our experts through the NYU Langone Health app. All visits, including enrollment, can be completed remotely through the app. Each treatment session lasts approximately 30 minutes.
You can schedule tDCS sessions at your convenience. We recommend completing sessions daily or nearly every day, with a minimum of 10 sessions to evaluate if you are experiencing benefits. The program is not currently covered by insurance, but we offer bundled sessions to reduce the cost per session. The equipment is loaned to you as part of the program. Your initial visit may be reimbursable through your insurance coverage.
If you are participating in a rehabilitation program, we can work with your therapist, such as a physical, occupational, speech–language, or psychotherapist, to add tDCS to your current therapeutic program.