Scientists call for regulations for brain stimulation devices sold directly to consumers



Brain-Zap­ping Gad­gets Need Reg­u­la­tion, Say Sci­en­tists and (Some) Man­u­fac­tur­ers (IEEE Spectrum):

Just a few years ago, the idea of elec­tri­cal­ly stim­u­lat­ing your brain in the com­fort of your own home would have sound­ed pret­ty weird, and prob­a­bly like a bad idea.

But the prac­tice of brain-zapping—in par­tic­u­lar, an easy-to-pull-off tech­nique called tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS)—has quick­ly advanced from labs to liv­ing rooms. DIY­ers are build­ing their own devices and trad­ing tips online, while star­tups are bring­ing out con­sumer products.

With that as the back­drop, a group of neu­ro­sci­en­tists and man­u­fac­tur­ers met in New York City on Sun­day 28 August to dis­cuss poten­tial reg­u­la­tions for brain stim­u­la­tion devices sold direct­ly to consumers…The group’s guide­lines will also rec­om­mend that peo­ple with neur­al or psy­chi­atric con­di­tions con­sult their physi­cians before using any brain stim­u­lat­ing gad­get. That cat­e­go­ry includes peo­ple with con­di­tions like depres­sion, anx­i­ety, and addic­tion, who are already turn­ing to DIY treat­ments using home­made or com­mer­cial­ly avail­able tDCS rigs…Some com­pa­nies claim not only that their devices treat dis­or­ders like depres­sion, anx­i­ety, addic­tion, and chron­ic pain, they also boast of improv­ing cog­ni­tion, mem­o­ry, and social skills. Many DIY­ers seem most inter­est­ed in these enhance­ment pos­si­bil­i­ties of tDCS. ”

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SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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