Transcranial stimulation describes a number of different treatments which use painless electro-magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
Transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS): A constant, low intensity current is passed through two electrodes placed over the head. Anodal stimulation is designed to excite brain cell activity while cathodal stimulation is designed to inhibit or reduce brain cell activity. tDCS is commonly used to treat a range of conditions such as depression, anxiety, Parkinson's disease, and chronic pain.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): An electromagnetic coil is held against the forehead near an area of the brain that is thought to be involved in mood regulation. Then, short electromagnetic pulses are administered through the coil. rTMS is a specific form of TMS in which the pulses are repeated. TMS is used to treat a range of conditions including depression, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.