Taking on plato work headset

Case: EEG-tDCS headset for treatment of depression


In a collaboration between DTU Health Technology and PlatoScience, we develop a tDCS-EEG headset for the treatment of depression.
tDCS has been found to modulate cognitive performance as well as relieving symptoms in a range of neurological and psychiatric diseases as pre-stages of dementia, schizophrenia, neuropathic pain among others, but especially studies on depression show promising results.

EEG pattern is used as biomarker for tDCS treatable depression. Based on the tDCS expertise within PlatoScience, and the years of research experience with EEG at DTU Health Technology, we wish to develop a new EEG-tDCS-headset for home-treatment of depression. Such a product would target a large number of patients, who currently experience either no effect or side effects from conventional antidepressant drugs.

Since the equipment currently available for delivering tDCS is expensive and complex, assistance from health professionals are needed to provide treatment. The PlatoScience tDCS headset is designed so that it is easy to place correctly and is controlled via a mobile phone app. This allows patients to be treated with tDCS in their own homes and ultimately avoid hospitalization.

An EEG-tDCS headset can aid in achieving optimal depression-treatment with tDCS. For the growing group of people suffering from depression, this new product will offer a simple and effective drug-free solution, with no side-effects and no technical expertise required. It can be used by patients either independently or as part of a treatment plan combined with cognitive therapy and/or anti-depressants.

Researchers contribute by developing signal processing algorithms for EEG data processing, feature extraction and selection, and validation to correlate a cognitive performance and to find a possible scientific evidence of tDCS from EEG.

From a research perspective, there is an increasing interest in doing real time studies of the effects of tDCS. Using EEG allows for moving some of the research out of the lab and collect data in realistic use context. With a growing market for do-it-yourself tDCS devices, it is crucial from a research perspective to enable ‘in context’ real-time monitoring of tDCS, and thus it is highly relevant to increase the knowledge about the nature of such monitoring. The project will enable the researchers to gain new and relevant knowledge on EEG monitoring of tDCS. Furthermore, compliance in clinical studies are higher when the patients can participate without substantial visits to a lab or hospital.

What is tDCS?

With transcranial direct current stimulation, a weak current is applied to the brain via electrodes. The current changes excitability of the cortical neurons, which leads to an increase in the action potentials and thereby neurotransmission. Over time, the increased transmission leads to neuromodulation.


Sadasivan Puthusserypady Kumaran
Groupleader, Associate Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 36 52
21 JUNE 2024