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Transcranial direct current stimulation shows promise for depression therapy

By University of Kansas | Nov 16, 2016

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A new study at the University of Kansas will investigate the potential of transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, whereby a safe, low current of electricity is applied to the brain by placing electrodes on a person’s scalp. The painless technique may be a useful as a therapy for depression, especially in conjunction with antidepressant medications.

“It’s a technology that allows us to influence the chance that cells in the brain will fire using moderate amounts of electricity,” said Evangelia Chrysikou, assistant professor of psychology.

Chrysikou recently earned a $70,000 grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to study the potential of tDCS in people experiencing depression. She’ll use proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure changes in brain chemistry and neural activity among 40 subjects receiving tDCS, half healthy and half experiencing major depressive disorder. Participants will be recruited from the KU Psychological Clinic on KU’s Lawrence campus and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

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