DIY tDCS Start Here

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

  1. DIYtDCS Feed, last 50 articles http://www.diytdcs.com/feed/
  2. My Twitter feed focuses on breaking tDCS research. @DIYtDCS
  3. My Reddit account, where it’s okay to explore the fringes. DIYtDCS
  4. Recommended device? (29V / 2mA model. Promo code ‘diytdcs’ for discount)
  5. Best instruction video for C3/Motorcortex & F3/DLPFC electrode placement.
  6. Is this (tDCS for depression in pregnancy) the first ‘killer app’?
  7. Cognitive Enhancement with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (video) Roy Hamilton MD
  8. Simple Montage list with electrode placement and research sources.
  9. Marom Bikson & Peter Toshev ‘Your Electric Pharmacy‘ (excellent overview/intro).
  10. Marom Bikson Presentation on State of the Art tDCS 8/13.
  11. My podcast interviews – deep dives into tDCS with key players (iTunes link)
  12. tDCS SubReddit is where the action is. Now with tDCS FAQ!
  13. An ‘Open tDCS’ project.
  14. Dr. Brent Williams’ DIY device and protocol.
  15. Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus
  16. Better Living Through Electrochemistry
  17. Clinical tDCS trials seek volunteers. All. Search. (Example: “tDCS AND Los Angeles”)
  18. Neuroscience: Brain buzz Nature Magazine
  19. DLPFC / F3 Locator (you’ll need a tape measure with Centimeters)
  20. Searchable database of tDCS articles from trans-cranial.com
  21. 10–20 international system
  22. Kadosh The Stimulated Brain: Cognitive Enhancement Using NIBS

LED headset shows promise for Alzheimer’s, brain injuries | CITY News

Full Story: LED headset shows promise for Alzheimer’s, brain injuries | CITY News
This device/protocol is new to me, though I have been looking into Low Laser Light Therapy which looks promising. I will be looking into the science around this device, also its history, i.e. which came first, the device or the science.

Lew Lim, the founder and CEO of VieLight is seen explaining the device in the video.

The technology is called transcranial and intranasal photobiomodulation (PBM). Initial, small-scale results, are promising.

Five people, with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, used the headsets every day for 12 weeks. The headset frame, with four different LED cluster-heads and an LED that clips to the inside of the nostril, was turned on for 15 minutes a day.

After the three months, neuroscientists noticed some patients, who were not able to speak in full sentences, could now put sentences together. Patients also experienced improved sleep and reduced wandering.

Paper: Significant Improvement in Cognition in Mild to Moderately Severe Dementia Cases Treated with Transcranial Plus Intranasal Photobiomodulation: Case Series Report

The device is called VieLight, (which does not include EEG which was used in the study depicted), seems to be available for sale. A smaller device, called the ‘Pocket Miracle’ is also for sale.

Zapping Your Brain at Home to Cure Fatigue | The Atlantic

Using remote rehabilitation to administer tDCS to MS patients.
Zapping Your Brain at Home to Cure Fatigue

Each day for two weeks, Bennett would don a headband equipped with moistened sponges and attached to what she called a “big cellphone”—a tDCS stimulator. When she was ready to start the session, a clinician would give her a four-digit code to enter on a keypad, and the current would surge through the wires and into her brain.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Combined With Computer Games At Home Reduces Cognitive Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
More about Supervised Neuromodulation: Soterix mini-CT

Caputron Announces New Version ActivaDose ll 29V 2mA Max Setting

Robin at Caputron sends word of their new ‘exclusively from Caputron’ ActivaDose 29V 2mA max Iontophoresis device. My one caveat with the ActivaDose had been the potential for user error in choosing a 4mA setting (rather than the 1 or 2mA setting traditionally used in tDCS research). This new device removes that possibility. This is the device you could confidently show your Mom how to use. The new version maintains the ActivaDose FDA approval for iontophoresis. This new version becomes the device I can recommend in all confidence, also because Caputron stands behind all the products they offer.
Readers of the blog get a generous discount on this, or any other (including GoFlow) device purchased at Caputron using promo code diytdcs at checkout.

activadose-ii-starter-kit

Is e-meditation wave of the future? | MUSC News

Full article: Is e-meditation wave of the future?

Neuroscience doctoral student Bashar W. Badran is exploring the Use of tDCS to enhance Mindfulness Meditation (E-Meditation)
MUSC Research Assistant Caroline Summer is in background, demonstrating the tDCS device.
Photo by Sarah Pack

Badran, who used two different mindfulness scales and mood rating scales on 15 participants in a double-blind study, found that feelings of calmness increased almost 2.5 times in the group receiving active tDCS-paired meditation compared to the placebo. Individuals receiving the sham stimulation had just a 5 percent increase in calmness rating.

 

Paper (Paywall): A Double-Blind Study Exploring the Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to Potentially Enhance Mindfulness Meditation (E-Meditation)

Focus announces EEG Dev Kit

Update 2/2/17. Focus just announced functional Near-InfraRed Spectroscopy (fNIRS) capabilities for their EEG Dev kit!

This was announced a few days ago and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of it… a battery-looking EEG thing. Certainly I’m not a ‘Dev’ and so I left it to those who are to parse the details, still…  Ah, yes, further details arrived today via email I’m happy to share with you (below). I do get the feeling this will make EEG devs excited.

Update 1/19/17 The focus site now has a photo of their new dry EEG electrode.

Thanks for all your feedback and questions about the focus EEG. A common question has been what exactly is included (see below) and is it everything required (yes).

Included in EEG Dev Kit

  • foc.us EEG 24-bit 8-channel EEG with tES & Wi-Fi
  • 8 active dry electrodes for EEG, plus bias & reference electrodes
  • 2 active bio-potential electrodes for ECG, EOG, EMG or EKG
  • 2 wet tES electrodes for tDCS, tACS, tPCS or tRNS
  • 10-20 placement cap
  • Mains power adapter for recharging
  • Raw data access

Next week we will provide more details on the software and SDK for EEG processing.

Sincerely,
team focus

P.S. The first 100 66 are available at only $999 $499 – half price!

What I’m excited about is the Focus EEG headset, but a recent tweet exchange indicates we’re a good year away from release.

Treating Depression With tDCS | IEEE Spectrum

Excellent article on the state of prescribed tDCS for depression.
Full article: Treating Depression With tDCS: Startup Ybrain Aims for the Mainstream

In South Korea, Ybrain is betting that these benefits and its slick consumer-friendly design will speed adoption of its device. “It’s designed for home use,” says Ybrain CEO Lee, “so physician can electronically prescribe the device and patients can bring it to their homes.”

NYC Neuromodulation 2017 | Yannick Roy

Yannick Roy of NeuroTechX put together a nice summary of his experience at the Neuromodulation 2017 conference in New York.
Read the whole Medium article here: NYC Neuromodulation 2017

Do not use the “Oreo Cookie” approach where you soak your sponge in your saline solution and squeeze it to remove the extra. Because it over saturates, it’s dripping, it’s very “subjective” and hard to reproduce. Get a syringe and put 8mL of saline solution on your sponge and make sure to also get the corners. Do that prior to insert the electrode in between the 2 layers. If it’s dripping wet, that’s bad (you’re doing it wrong!). You should not have to use a tower on the patient’s neck.

Yannick Roy from NeuroTechX with Marom Bikson, chair of the Neuromodulation Conference. The interview was recorded at City College, NYC, during the Neuromodulation 2017.

Andrea Coravos at the NYC Neuromodulation 2017 Conference trying out Halo Sport (with Brett Wingeier)

Do DIY Brain-Booster Devices Work? | Scientific America

Excellent article traces the rise in tDCS interest. Includes many of the key players and links to important research papers. Do DIY Brain-Booster Devices Work?

NYC Neuromodulation 2017 Conference January 13-15

That’s next weekend! Should be an exciting event. Check out the Abstracts submitted by presenters! Things like…

E-meditation: A novel paradigm using tDCS to enhance mindfulness meditation
tDCS metaplasticity and astrocytic calcium in mice
Individual Differences in tDCS Augmented Working Memory Training
Distracted driving and high-definition tDCS
Emotion perception improvement following high frequency transcranial random noise of the inferior frontal cortex
Adaptive tDCS controller for increasing dose to 4 mA
Dry electrodes for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Seeking a Superman’s brain: HD-tDCS of brain networks in exercise performance
Investigating Possible Mechanisms of Action of Transcranial Electric Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease

 

Zapping the brain really does seem to improve depression | New Scientist

Analysing these high-standard studies revealed that tDCS seems to reliably improve the symptoms of depression, addiction and craving, and fibromyalgia. It also uncovered that the technique does not work for tinnitus, and that the evidence for using tDCS for stroke rehabilitation was not as strong as many had thought.

Full article: Zapping the brain really does seem to improve depression

Full Paper: Evidence-based guidelines on the therapeutic use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

 

Gamma Waves Enhance the Brain’s Immune System to Treat Mice with Alzheimer’s disease.

Foc.us v2 40hz tACS

I was first alerted to the story from a December 7 article in the Guardian, “Strobe lighting provides a flicker of hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s“. Researchers from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT, working with (let’s call them) ‘Alzehiemer’s mice’, had discovered that flashing a light at 40hz (on-off at 40 times per second) increased gamma wave oscillations in the brain which led to the reduction of Amyloid beta (think, plaque) through the activation of microglia ‘clean-up’ immune cells. Here, let them explain it!

The paper, Gamma frequency entrainment attenuates amyloid load and modifies microglia makes clear that the light-flickering affected the visual cortex, which makes sense, as the light reaches the brain through the eyes. But wait, thinks I, what about tACS (transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation)… haven’t I seen numerous papers implying the ability to ‘entrain’ brain waves with tACS? What if you could increase 40hz Gamma in other parts of the brain? (Google Scholar Search: transcranial alternating, entrain, gamma)
But then I discovered that Radiolab just covered this exact story and it’s totally amazing! Really a must listen. So fun to hear the researcher’s amazement at this accidental (sort of) discovery!
So what’s with the photo of the Foc.us v2 device set up for a 40hz tACS session? Just that…

More about The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT