A new gadget is available on Amazon that can help people in alleviating depression and enhance the creativity of the brain. It is known as a transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) device or the Brain Driver. It consists of a pair of electrodes. You need to place the pair of electrodes on your scalp such that the electrical current is delivered to your brain. This is known as transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) therapy.
The scientists are experimenting with the new tES therapy to stimulate the human brain. This therapy involves applying mild electrical shocks non-invasively to the brain which are controlled using a brain stimulator device. They are learning if and how the tES therapy can address psychiatric problems. They have found evidence that this therapy may help patients with serious medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, and depression. This may also enhance the creativity and cognitive abilities of a human brain.
You can either buy the brain stimulator or tES device from Amazon or you can make it on your own at home. However, this new trend of DIY brain-stimulation is worrying experts. Therefore, they have called for an open dialog with the DIY community about the risks associated with this therapy.
The scientists highly recommend to use tES device only under the administration of a well-trained healthcare provider. Since they are really concerned about the effects of tES therapy on the brains of young people. A new research paper published in the Creativity Research Journal in which the psychologists from Georgetown University warned about the adverse effects of tES therapy on humans.
According to them, this practice is spreading among people before they have any good understanding of its good or bad effects on their health. The consumers are already buying devices like Brain Driver or building unregulated devices themselves to shock their brains. The hardware and the procedure of these DIY devices are unregulated. Due to which, the potential dangers are unclear as well as the possible benefits of these unregulated devices.
The scientists cautioned that this technique could be inevitable for the human brain. Multiple potential concerns are associated with DIY-ers self-administering electric current tES devices. This includes the risks associated with the kids and the developing brain. If people use these devices at home without proper administration, they might ignore the necessary safety precautions.
Moreover, the home-brewed devices and direct-to-consumer products could raise serious issues due to unsafe amounts of electric current provided to the human brain. Therefore, the psychologists advise parents and young people to resist the temptation using these devices to enhance the creativity among kids. Because they are not yet clear how the tES therapy might affect the still-developing brains of young people.
The scientists suggest that tES therapy is likely to benefit the patients suffering from depression and anxiety. However, DIY brain stimulation using electric current has become an alarming new trend. Even the doctors are not aware of all the effects that could be caused due to tES therapy. Therefore, the psychologists suggest that the consumer-oriented tES devices should be regulated properly to ensure the health and safety of the users.
Kristin K. Sellers, Juliann M. Mellin, Caroline M. Lustenberger, Michael R. Boyle, Won Hee Lee, Angel V. Peterchev, Flavio Frohlich. Transcranial direct current stimulation of frontal cortex decreases performance on the WAIS-IV intelligence test. Behavioural Brain Research, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.04.031
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