An experimental method of applying 1 or 2 milliamps of direct current to your scalp, can make you smarter and improve your mood.
Doesn’t seem possible but here goes.
The technology is called transcranial direct current stimulation or tDCS. This uses less than 1% of the electrical energy used for electroconvulsive or shock therapy.
The technology tDCS has been shown in hundreds of studies to enhance a number of intellectual, emotional and movement related functions of the brain.
Expert such as Dr J.Leon Morales-Quezada, senior research associate at Harvard’s neuromodulation lab is active in the use of tDCS.
Another clinician Dr Felipe Gregni is a neurophysiologist who runs Harvard’s Lab of Neuromodulation at the Spaulding Rehab Hospital. Fregni et al have published more than 200 papers on tDCS. He has used tDCS with migraine, chronic pain, post-stroke paralysis, depression, tinnitus, fibromyalgia and addiction.
Studies show that 2 mgms per day of Zoloft ( an antidepressant) together with 2 milliamps of tDCS is more effective for depression than either alone.
The theory of why tDCS works is explained by Dr Roy Hoshi Hamilton of University of Pennsylvania’s Lab for Cognition and Neural Stimulation. The neurons that fire together wire together. The technology tCDS enhances firing rates. This leads to the development of neural pathways to enhance cognition or movement.
Conclusion: A simple, inexpensive technology that is readily available may prove to be a boon to clinicians seeking a proven solution for patients with a number of health problems.
Reference: New York Times Magazine The Health Issue Nov 2 2013 pages 50:53.