Understanding the Neural Mechanisms Behind tDCS

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    KU Leuven
Updated on 9 December 2021
Accepts healthy volunteers


The aim of the study is to investigate the neural mechanisms underpinning transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive neuromodulation technique in which a direct current is passed through scalp electrodes. A series of experiments will be conducted to understand and characterize the transcranial and transcutaneous mechanisms of tDCS. To investigate this research question, every participant will undergo three stimulation conditions (active, sham and control). In the control condition, an anaesthetic cream will be applied to anaesthetize the nerves in the scalp. In addition, the effectiveness of tDCS and peripheral nerve stimulation will be compared. Ultimately, the obtained knowledge can lead to the development of improved non-invasive neuromodulation therapies, which can lead to more effective treatments of a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Condition tDCS Mechanisms
Treatment Brain stimulation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04577677
SponsorKU Leuven
Last Modified on9 December 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

good general health

Exclusion Criteria

Epilepsy or family history of epilepsy
Allergic to lidocaine or benzocaine
History of or currently suffering from
neurological diseases
psychiatric diseases, depression or anxiety (Annex B and Annex C)
History of
brain surgery
brain thrombosis
cerebral hemorrhage
severe head trauma
long period of loss of consciousness (> 1 hour)
Metal parts in the head or upper body
Defibrillator, implanted medication pump
Metal prosthesis in ear, hart
Deep brain stimulator
Coronary bypass or intracranial or aneurysm clips (brain arteries, aorta, etc.)
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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