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Will consumer-led transcranial direct current stimulation revolutionize or hurt mental health?

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Ther­a­py Borne on Elec­tri­cal Cur­rents (The New York Times):

…This is Thync, the lat­est in tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion, or tDCS. The man­u­fac­tur­er says the device, to come out lat­er this year, can alter the user’s mood in min­utes via elec­tric cur­rent…until recent­ly, it was most­ly hob­by­ists –nine-volt bat­ter­ies stuck to their heads — who exper­i­ment­ed with tDCS as a means of improv­ing con­cen­tra­tion, ver­bal and com­pu­ta­tion abil­i­ties, and cre­ativ­i­ty. But in the last few years, sev­er­al com­pa­nies have intro­duced slick con­sumer devices, among them Foc.us, whose head­set and con­troller cost $298, and The Brain Sim­u­la­tor, whose advanced starter kit costs $150…

If Thync does work, some men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als wor­ry it could dis­tract users from devel­op­ing their own cop­ing skills.”

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  1. Howard Ellison says:

    You can be sure prices will con­tin­ue to fall in line with pop­u­lar uptake, par­tic­u­lar­ly among stu­dents seek­ing to sharp­en their study. There’s only a few dimes worth of parts in the sim­pler DC devices, eas­i­ly assem­bled in any col­lege physics dept or on the kitchen table.

    Noth­ing new in the tech­nique of course. I recall writ­ing a cap­tion sto­ry decades ago about a spright­ly Major Her­schell, aged 90, who dai­ly ran a met­al comb through his sparse hair, with a bat­tery wired between it and a clip on his big toe.
    He looked great — though I nev­er saw his feet.

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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