Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation tool that is now being widely used in neuroscientific and clinical research in humans. While initial studies focused on modulation of cortical excitability, the technique quickly progressed to studies on motor and cognitive functions in healthy humans and in patients with neurological diseases. In the present review we will first provide the reader with a brief background on the basic principles of tDCS. In the main part, we will outline recent studies with tDCS that aimed at enhancing behavioral outcome or disease-specific symptoms in patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, movement disorders, and epilepsy, or persistent deficits after stroke. The review will close with a summary statement on the present use of tDCS in the treatment of neurological disorders, and an outlook to further developments in this realm. tDCS may be an ideal tool to be administered in parallel to intensive cognitive or motor training in neurological disease, but efficacy for the areas of activities and participation still needs to be established in controlled randomized trials. Its use in reducing disease-specific symptoms like dystonia or epileptic seizures is still unclear. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.