Reversing (usual) placement of electrodes in a treatment-resistant major depression (TRD) study resulted in no apparent effect.
Side effects did not differ between the two groups and in general the treatment was very well tolerated.
Conclusion: Anodal stimulation to the left DLPFC and cathodal stimulation to the right DLPFC was not efficacious in TRD. However, a number of methodological limitations warrant caution in generalizing from this study.
via Frontiers | A Randomized Double-Blind Sham-Controlled Study of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Major Depression | Frontiers in Neuropsychiatric Imaging and Stimulation.
This is the single example of the frequently sited Eldith device matched to a photo of the device. I’m not sure if perhaps neuroConn changed the name of the device, or…?
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
_ Mechanism of action
Contemporary tDCS protocols typically involve the application of a 1 mA or 2 mA direct current (DC) for up to 20 minutes between two surface electrodes. These may vary in size, but are commonly _35cm2 (5×7 cm). The electrodes are placed on the scalp, one serving as the anode and the other as the cathode. Current flows from the anode to the cathode, some being diverted through the scalp and some moving through the brain.15
Figure 2. Eldith transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
stimulator with electrodes. Photo by the author.
via Transcranial direct current stimulation in the treatment of depression | Medicographia.
This is one of the applications of tDCS I’ve been waiting to hear about. I was hoping tDCS might help facilitate an active dreaming state or even lucid dreaming.
In summary, using two different methodologies it appears that tDCS had no effect on the presence of dream reports with visual imagery or measures of dream quality. However, this may be due to methodological limitations of these stud- ies, as the delivery methods employed allowed only low levels of tDCS to be delivered without waking participants. Improvements allowing higher levels of stimulation during sleep and stimulation of other cortical regions could poten- tially provide more definitive conclusions regarding the ef- fectiveness of tDCS on dream imagery reported from REM sleep.
Investigation of visual dream reports after tran- scranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during REM sleep (pdf)