DIY tDCS Start Here

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New to DIYtDCS? This is the ‘start here’ collection of articles and posts.

  1. DIYtDCS Feed, all articles http://www.diytdcs.com/feed/
  2. Recommended device? (promo code ‘diytdcs’ for generous discount)
  3. Is this (tDCS for depression in pregnancy) the first ‘killer app’?
  4. Cognitive Enhancement with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (video) Roy Hamilton MD
  5. Simple Montage list with electrode placement and research sources.
  6. Marom Bikson & Peter Toshev ‘Your Electric Pharmacy‘ (excellent overview/intro).
  7. Marom Bikson Presentation on State of the Art tDCS 8/13.
  8. My podcast interviews – deep dives into tDCS with key players (iTunes link)
  9. tDCS SubReddit is where the action is. Now with tDCS FAQ!
  10. An ‘Open tDCS’ project.
  11. Dr. Brent Williams’ DIY device and protocol.
  12. Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus
  13. Better Living Through Electrochemistry
  14. Clinical tDCS trials seek volunteers. All. Search. (Example: “tDCS AND Los Angeles”)
  15. Neuroscience: Brain buzz Nature Magazine
  16. DLPFC / F3 Locator (you’ll need a tape measure with Centimeters)
  17. Searchable database of tDCS articles from trans-cranial.com
  18. 10–20 international system
  19. Kadosh The Stimulated Brain: Cognitive Enhancement Using NIBS

Foc.us Adds Online 3d Head Model For Help With Electrode Placement

From an email press release received 9/1/16.

To help with electrode positioning we have updated a 3d model head with the 10/20 electrode placements. Click the position name e.g. F3, and it will appear on the head. You will still need to translate this to your own head but we hope it helps. (Move the model around with your mouse.)

We are also now selling a version of Go Flow Pro that includes our 1020 position cap instead of the headband. It includes everything you need to get started.

tdcsFocusHead1 Shown here with F3 & F4tdcsFocusHead2

 

TMS and Aspergers

Fascinating stories of people with Aspergers who discover feelings and empathy as participants in TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) studies. Begs the question, what if, as the effects of TMS fade, tDCS could be used to ‘top up’ their emotional awareness?

Frame of Reference From NPR’s amazing ‘Invisibilia’.
We all carry an invisible frame of reference in our heads that filters our experience. Alix and Hanna talk to a woman who gets a glimpse of what she’s been missing – and then loses it.

And Switched On, Snap #721 – Fortress of Solitude, from WNYC’s awesome Snap Judgement podcast

Why DIY?

Market forces, the for-profit bias that imbues every aspect of health care in America, skew R&D towards solutions and products that are highly profitable. That’s one of the reasons I was so curious about tDCS. You can do it at home. It doesn’t cost a fortune. My initial curiosity was inspired by research papers that seemed to indicate the potential for cognitive enhancement, primarily memory and learning. Many papers later, I’m not so sure, but where it comes to tDCS and depression I’m much more confident. There does seem to be an overwhelming amount of both research and anecdotal evidence to support the use of tDCS in depression. If that were better known, perhaps someone like the woman featured in this NBC news clip would have had somewhere to turn when she was denied coverage for continuing TMS treatment for depression.

Injured Workers Face Stacked Deck During Workers’ Comp Appeals Process, Critics Say

Olympic Athletes Are Electrifying Their Brains, and You Can Too | IEEE SPECTRUM

Eliza Strickland covered the HaloNeuro tDCS device. This clip shares my hopes about the Halo… that sports serves as a gateway until they can get established. IMO we need a device manufacturer with deep pockets who can satisfy the research and regulation requirements to make tDCS (or any other form of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation – NIBS, that is effective) mainstream.

While the authorities dither, Halo will do its best to slip into the mainstream. And athletes are just the first customers targeted by this ambitious company. In South Carolina, a neurologist is currently testing the Halo with stroke patients to see if stimulating the motor cortex speeds up rehab. Chao envisions a whole range of Halo products offering consumers different kinds of mental boosts. “What if you want to learn Chinese and we stimulate the language center?” he says. “What if we stimulate the memory center and pair that with brain-training games?”

Olympic Athletes Are Electrifying Their Brains, and You Can Too

tdcsHaloHeadphone

Citizen Science! The Verdict Is In!

Just kidding. C’mon folks. The smallest bit of Googling… At least he doesn’t seem to have hurt himself.

NEVER connect electrodes directly to a 9 volt battery.
Sticky (TENS) electrodes are HIGHLY not recommended.

Youtuber theCharmIsGlobal 7/25/16

YouTuber theCharmIsGlobal 7/25/16

Based on his perception of the Sally Adee article/study featured on RadioLab 9-Volt Nirvana episode, YouTuber TheCharmIsGlobal attempted to replicate the experience in an experiment he called, “TDCS EXPERIMENT WITH CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III” The 43 minute video is mostly onscreen playing of Call Of Duty, but he starts the video with a discussion of tDCS, applies tDCS as shown above at around 10:40, and declares victory at 42:50.

So the verdict is in, yeah, it does work! It really does work!

How TMS and Genome Testing Pulled Me Out of a Severe Depression | Toby Wachter

No mention of tDCS in his journey to find relief from severe depression, but some new to me and interesting information about treating his depression with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Especially interesting is that a genome test recommended by his psychiatrist led to the awareness that many of the drugs typically used to treat depression would most likely be overwhelming to his system. Also that his insurer, Anthem Blue Cross (through the ACA, Obamacare) covered his TMS treatment. Links below to full article.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is a depression treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2008. It involves placing a magnetic coil on the patient’s head, and stimulating neurons in a specific part of the brain known to be underactive in depression (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Best of all, it has very few side effects: only some uncomfortable tapping on the head where treatment is applied. There are none of the standard side effects we’ve come to associate with medications.

How Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Genome Testing Pulled Me Out of a Severe Depression

Halo Neuroscience in the News

There’s been a lot of attention to the Halo Neuroscience device, much of it around use by olympic-level athletes. Halo Sport is a VC-backed tDCS device that targets the Motor Cortex. We’ve covered it previously elsewhere on the blog.

US Olympic track star out to prove Halo Sport headphones make him faster, stronger
The Brain-Zapping Olympians
Olympic Athletes Try Zapping Their Brains to Boost Performance

Sleep Spindles tACS and Memory Consolidation | Frohlich Lab

For the first time, UNC School of Medicine scientists report using transcranial alternating current stimulation, or tACS, to target a specific kind of brain activity during sleep and strengthen memory in healthy people.


Flavio Frohlich, PhD

Full Story: No dream: electric brain stimulation during sleep can boost memory
Paper: Feedback-Controlled Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation Reveals a Functional Role of Sleep Spindles in Motor Memory Consolidation

Anna Wexler – DIY tDCS Podcast #6 – Regulating tDCS

annaWexlerGlacier

Anna Wexler is a Ph.D. candidate in the HASTS Program (History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society) at MIT. Her dissertation focuses on the ethical, social and regulatory implications of consumer non-invasive brain stimulation. She is currently a 2015-2016 visiting scholar at the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2007, Anna graduated from MIT with two Bachelors’ of Science degrees, one in Brain and Cognitive Science and the other in Humanities and Science with a focus in Writing.

AnnaWexler.com

Papers of Anna’s we discuss.
A pragmatic analysis of the regulation of consumer transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) devices in the United States
The practices of do-it-yourself brain stimulation: implications for ethical considerations and regulatory proposals
(Paywall)

“Medical Batteries”
The Practice of Medical Electricity: Showing the Most Approved Apparatus, Their Methods of Use, and Rules for the Treatment of Nervous Diseases, More Especially Paralysis and Neuralgia

Front Cover
Fannin & Company, 1869

Harvard Law Professor Peter Barton Hutt

Sally Adee Better Living Through Electrochemistry 2/9/2012 Her blog version of the New Scientist article (now paywalled).
GoFlow FlowStateEngaged.com (2012 Archive.org)
Radiolab 9-Volt Nirvana 6/26/2014
Elif Batuman Electrified 4/6/2015 New Yorker

The challenge of crafting policy for do-it-yourself brain stimulation
Nicholas S Fitz, Peter B Reiner

FDA Proposed Rule Neurological Devices; Reclassification of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator Intended To Treat Insomnia and/or Anxiety; Effective Date of Requirement for Premarket Approval for Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator Intended To Treat Depression

General Wellness: Policy for Low Risk Devices – Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff (PDF – 550KB)

The FDA doesn’t want to regulate wearables, and device makers want to keep it that way (The Verge)

CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Use TDCS Home Device Kit

Caputron Now Carrying Focus GoFlow Starter Kit

Update 7/25/16 Caputron just announced their Banana Adapter for Focus Devices which facilitates use of Focus with Amrex or Caputron electrodes.

Caputron will be handling all Customer Support on GoFlow devices purchased through their site. At this time they have over 100 units in stock. If you’re not familiar with Caputron please check out my interview with founder Robin Azzam. Caputron has extended their discount to DIYtDCS readers for all products on their site, including the GoFlow. Use voucher code ‘diytdcs’ (without the quotation marks) for a generous discount.

New Go Flow Pro package.

New Go Flow Pro package.