J Neuroeng Rehabil
© 2019 The Author(s). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a modality of non-invasive brain stimulation involving the application of low amplitude direct current via surface electrodes on the scalp. tDCS has been studied in healthy populations and in multiple brain disorders and has the potential to be a treatment for several neuropsychiatric conditions by virtue of its capability of influencing cognitive, motor and behavioral processes. tDCS is a generally safe technique when performed within standardized protocols in research or clinical settings. Furthermore, tDCS portability, high acceptability and user-friendly interface makes it highly appealing for telemedicine practices. The term "telemedicine" refers to the procedures, educational strategies, and care services that are remotely administered by means of different communication technologies, with the final goal of increasing access to care for individuals and for improving public health. The use of telemedicine combined with tDCS protocols is increasing, although the safety of this approach in different clinical settings awaits further assessment. While "do-it-yourself" tDCS should be discouraged due to the unknown risk of adverse events, the implementation of tele-monitored tDCS (tele-tDCS) within standardized frameworks ensuring safety, tolerability, and reproducibility may allow this technology to reach larger clinical populations and bypass some of the common barriers preventing access to health services and clinical trials. This review will discuss the current evidence supporting the feasibility of tele-tDCS paradigms and their therapeutic potential, with particular emphasis on the implications for patients with Parkinson's disease.
School of Medicine