Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in an At-Home Setting


Leigh Charvet, PhD, professor of neurology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, discussed the potential feasibility of at-home tDCS for patients with multiple sclerosis to boost cognitive training. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

Leigh Charvet, PhD: We’re very interested in one type of noninvasive brain stimulation, which is transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. We come from a background in telerehabilitation where we were studying cognitive training in the home setting, and so we knew that that that works, and we wanted to add stimulation to see if we can boost or potentiate the benefit the cognitive training. That's the general idea.

The intervention that we studied here was adaptive cognitive training, in 20 minutes sessions daily, paired with either active or sham, which is the placebo tDCS. And it was all at home, so an at-home setup that was monitored in real-time using video conference.

We moved to at home to do studies of the interventions that are rehabilitative and that you need a lot of training—daily for weeks and even months—to get the benefit or to really understand the optimized benefit of these trainings. We know that when we provided to people in their homes, this is likely how the technology will be used in the future. But it also enables us to recruit rapidly and to do the higher-level trials that we need to really move to clinical practice. In this trial, for instance, we enrolled 120 people in about 22 months who completed the long period of treatment with 30 treatment sessions. So, it was very feasible in a way to reach our patient participants in the home setting.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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