Impact of tDCS and HD-tDCS on tinnitus perception: A scoping review

Tori Elyssa Kok, Roland Schaette, Giriraj Singh Shekhawat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Tinnitus is the auditory phantom perception of a sound that severely affects the quality of life of over 300,000 people in the United Kingdom alone. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation tool, which has been investigated as a potential tinnitus management option since 2006. This study aimed to investigate the impact of tDCS and high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) on tinnitus perception. A scoping review was undertaken using the framework by Arksey and O'malley (2005). After consideration of relevance, 38 primary research studies were included in the data charting to examine the impact of (HD-)tDCS on tinnitus. Twenty-two of the primary research studies reported significant therapeutic effects of (HD)-tDCS on tinnitus perception. However, only eight of these included a sham-control condition. The tDCS protocols in the studies were highly heterogeneous and sample sizes were generally small. More double-blind, sham-controlled trials are needed that use similar protocols and outcome measures before definitive conclusions about the efficacy of (HD-)tDCS for tinnitus can be drawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-244
Number of pages20
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Early online date15 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain stimulation
  • HD-tDCS
  • High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Review
  • Scoping review
  • tDCS
  • Tinnitus
  • Tinnitus treatment
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation


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