Mayo Clinic researchers are looking for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to participate in a research study. The purpose of the study is to learn more about transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, and how it impacts cognitive function.
What is tDCS?
This technology provides a non-invasive way to electrically stimulate your brain. The tDCS device is portable and runs on two 9-volt batteries. Electrodes from the tDCS device carry weak electrical current through your scalp and skull and into your brain.
How is tDCS used in this study?
Researchers have found that younger adults and older adults activate similar parts of the brain when performing the same memory tasks. In some studies, however, researchers found older adults who scored worse on memory tasks and those with mild cognitive impairment activated an additional part of the brain. This means that both sides of the brain were activated. Researchers are not sure whether this additional activation is beneficial or detrimental to cognitive function. This study will investigate whether giving tDCS treatment to reduce this additional brain activity can improve cognitive outcomes.
What happens during the study?
Your part in this study will last for about 6 weeks and involve 7 visits. These visits include a combined screening/baseline visit to see if you are eligible to participate and a baseline assessment visit, 5 consecutive treatment visits over 1 week, and a follow-up visit 1 month after your last treatment day. During treatment, you will have a 50% chance of receiving either the active or sham (like placebo) tDCS stimulation.