Optimization of High Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HDtDCS) For Tinnitus Relief

Giriraj Singh Shekhawat, Frederick Sundram, Dirk De Ridder, Ian Kirk, Cathy M. Stinear, David Welch, Grant D. Searchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Objective: Tinnitus is the phantom perception of sound. The aim of this study was to optimize 4 × 1 high definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) current intensity (centre anode 1 mA and 2 mA), duration (10 minutes and 20 minutes) and location (Left Temporoparietal Area [LTA] and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex [DLPFC]) for tinnitus relief. Methods: Twenty seven participants with chronic tinnitus (>2 years) and mean age of 53.5 years underwent two sessions of HD-tDCS of LTA and DLPFC in a randomized order with a 1 week gap. During each session a combination of 4 different stimulation settings were used in incremental order (1 mA, 10 min; 1 mA, 20 min; 2 mA, 10 min; and 2 mA, 20 min) and their impact on tinnitus loudness and annoyance was documented. Results: In total 21 participants reported a minimum of 1 point reduction on tinnitus loudness or annoyance scales. There was a significant main effect for time F (1, 26) = 10.08, p < 0.005 and current intensity F (1, 26) = 16.84, p < 0.001, for loudness change and annoyance change [time F (1, 26) = 6.88, p = 0.01 and current intensity F (1, 26) = 14.24, p = 0.001]. There was no interaction between the location, intensity, and duration of stimulation. Conclusions: A current intensity of 2 mA for 20 minute duration was the most effective setting used for tinnitus relief. The stimulation of the LTA and DLPFC were equally effective for suppressing tinnitus loudness and annoyance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e9
Number of pages1
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • HDtDCS
  • Tinnitus treatment
  • tinnitus
  • LTA


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