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Can electricity-based brain stimulation harness neuroplasticity safely?

brainstimulationDIY Brain Stimulation Raises Concerns (Medscape Today):

“Recent increased interest in the electricity-based brain stimulation method of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) as a means of improving cognitive ability has some experts raising concerns about the neuroethical issues surrounding the technique — particularly its ease of use as a make-it-yourself home device…

Those wishing to play it a little safer can opt to purchase an already assembled headset online for about $249, which comes with the promise of improving computer and video game performance…

With the click of a button, the headset sends a surge of electricity rippling across the prefrontal cortex, allowing synapses to fire faster…

The most intriguing aspect of tDCS is also what makes it particularly worrisome — the potential for long-term manipulation of neuroplasticity…

In the opinion piece, Dr. Reiner also cautioned that care should even be taken in the public discussion of tDCS in order to prevent misinterpretations of the technique’s safety — starting with refraining from calling the technology “noninvasive.”

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