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Brain Stimulation for Depression

This is a clinical trial looking at the effects of a non-invasive brain stimulation technique called transcranial alternating current stimulation (or tACS) in patients with depression. Before coming into the lab, we will schedule a phone interview to assess your current symptoms and medical health. The lab visits include 5 daily 40-minute stimulation sessions in the Carolina Center for Neurostimulation. The first stimulation session also includes several assessments of your mental health, including a urine drug test and urine pregnancy test, as well as non-invasive brain activity recordings done via EEG. The follow-up session will be scheduled 2 weeks later with an optional MRI scan.

Age & Gender

  • 18 years ~ 65 years
  • Male, Female, Gender Inclusive

Visit Availability

  • Standard business hours (M-F, 8-5)
  • Extended hours (M-F, early morning or evening)
  • Weekend hours, if needed


North Carolina (Statewide)

What will be asked of you

Participation will last no longer than 2-3 weeks total. Completion will involve a maximum number of 8 appointments. The first session is an phone interview, at your convenience. Then we will schedule your 5 consecutive days of stimulation. Finally, there is an an optional structural MRI, and a 2-week follow up visit to record your brain activity using EEG. . We estimate that total participation for all interviews and visits to be approximately 21 hours.


Up to $285, Parking passes available and limited transportation assistance available

In-person visits:
Phone or online visits:
Total length of participation:
3 weeks

Looking for Specific Volunteers

Able to participate:

  • Major Depressive Disorder

Not eligible if:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Other mood, or psychotic disorder diagnosis
  • Use of benzodiazepines or anti-epileptic drugs
  • Neurological disorder or traumatic brain injury
  • Currently pregnant

Contact the Team

Visit Location

Contact & Visit Location

Primary Contact

Visit Study Website

Primary Visit Location

Carolina Center for Neurostimulation
334 Emergency Room Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA

Additional Study Information

Principal Investigator

David Rubinow

Study Type

Clinical or Medical

Study Topics

Brain, Head, Nervous System
Mental and Emotional Health

IRB Number




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