[Apologies for audio quality. It won’t happen again.]
Dr. Jim Fugedy runs the Brain Stimulation Clinic, in Atlanta, GA, and has been treating patients using tDCS since 2007. Download the interview here (zipped mp3).
The Brain Stimulation Clinic in Atlanta is the destination for memory and learning enhancement and treatment-resistant patients who suffer from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, CRPS, depression and tinnitus. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) therapy is provided in a pleasant, relaxing environment. Instruction, training and supervision for home use is also available for select patients.
Jim is an anesthesiologist.
The study Jim refers to regarding Felipe Fregni & fibromyalgia:
A randomized, sham-controlled, proof of principle study of transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of pain in fibromyalgia (full pdf)
tDCS for treatment of fibromyalgia is not certified – it’s ‘off label’
Device is certified, but not for tDCS = no insurance code, can’t be billed to insurance
20 minute treatment for 5 days.
For fibromyalgia – reduces pain, improves issues – fatigue, compromised mental function
(ActivaDose ii Update 3/16 now available as complete tDCS kit through Caputron Medical, use voucher code ‘diytdcs’ for generous discount.)
Most benefit… chronic depression, treatment protocol based on Colleen Loo, Black Dog Institute 6 weeks, follow up maintenance. Up to 8 weeks of treatment + 1-2 treatments follow up maintenance. Daily 20 minute sessions
Can be treated at the clinic for 1-2 weeks. Or home treatment package.
“To treat depression, I place the anode over the left dlpfc (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and the cathode over the contralateral supraorbital area. I have tried positioning the cathode over the contralateral dlpfc and extracephalically (opposite shoulder or upper arm), but the contralateral supraorbital locations provides the most robust effect.” (Correspondence)
Pain montage 2mA, anode M1 & cathode contralateral supra-orbital area
For chronic pain, the M1 is the most used area and that’s almost always my first choice. But you can use the cathode over the somatosensory (S1) cortex, to down-regulate the patient’s perception of pain.
And you can also stimulate the Dorsalateral prefrontal cortex which is involved in the emotional component of pain.
Looking at stimulating right dorsalateral prefrontal cortex to attenuate anxiety.
… it may be a location
for the non-pharmaceutical treatment for ADD.
Office visit $150.
Home use treatment package $2400 includes in-office evaluation and training, ActivaDose ii device, electrodes, and unlimited follow-up via visit, phone, skype…
Only side effect Jim has seen is skin burn (but easily avoided with sponge electrodes).
(Patient with skin burns who’d been treated by a doctor using electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes.)
Tinnitus responds well, though temporarily, to tDCS
Anode, right dorsalateral prefrontal cortex, cortex opposite supra-orbital
Harvard one day course on how to treat with tDCS. Taught 3-4 times a year.
Contrast with approved Electromagnetic treatment for depression (I think he’s referring to TMS transcranial magnetic stimulation here) A 6 week 30 treatment protocol costs between $10-15,000. Affects last about 6 months. And even though it’s certified, it’s not covered by insurance.
…”in the 12 years that it’s been used there have been no side effects reported other than skin (irritations).
“You know we hear stories about Canadians having to wait for surgery. But in the United States, if you don’t have the money and you don’t have insurance, you don’t have to worry about waiting, you won’t get the surgery.”
You can reach Jim at: doctorfugedy [theAtSignHere] transcranialbrainstimulation.com
Has it ever been used for nerve pain. Pain caused by peripheral neuropathy, pudendal neuralgia , I know you mentioned fibromyalgia so hoping you have seen success with other causes of incurable pain?
Unfortunately Dr. Fugedy seems to have stopped practicing so we’re not in a position to ask. There are certainly a lot of papers available on the use of tDCS and pain. But my sense is there hasn’t been enough evidence to support a general use case for tDCS and pain. If and when that happens I’m sure it would be have to be approved by the FDA.
Hey, I’m new to the field of research that surrounds tDCS and TES, generally, and have aims to work on it long-term. I had no idea that electric fields, etc., could influence biology at all until recently. With this veil finally lifted, i’m both liberated and isolated because, although my concerns about sleep issues turned out to be spot-on, or likely so, nobody I have any contact with is as jazzed by the electrode thing as me.
Language is fun, but I want to get my hands dirty. What can I do? Where can I help? Can one dedicate himself, even at minimum wage, to this kind of work and research at this point in science history?
Dear Dr. Fugedy,
I am Dave Siever and my company is Mind Alive Inc. We are the frontrunners in audio-visual entrainment (AVE), cranio-electro stimulation (CES) and the newly popularized transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) technologies. I frequently lecture at biofeedback conferences such as the AAPB and ISNR, plus I have a 24-CEU Stimulation Technologies course with Saybrook University. We have three patents on our techniques, which I believe you will find will enhance your clinical outcomes significantly.
My articles may be found at: http://mindalive.com/index.cfm/research/research-articles-by-dave-siever/
Thank you for listening.
Hi Dave. John here, I run this site. I will pass your comment on to Dr. Fugedy. If you look around you’ll find you’re quite well represented on the site. And I do keep tabs on what you’re up to. Take Care.
Hi, do you know if & where he practices in 2020? My mom went to him for Fibromyalgia years ago, & it was amazing how much she was able to regain her quality of life! From trying everything, to ZERO meds, treatment was worth every cent & the time we both spent there, as I drove her to her first several weeks of appts. We have often sent referrals, but I hear we no longer have the correct information.
He may have gone out of practice. I will update the post and this comment if I hear back from him. Best, John
John, Do you know if Dr. Fugedy is still practicing? I too went to him about 15 years ago and he was amazing. I would love to know where he is.
You know, I did do a fairly deep dive on trying to find him when that last comment came up and had no luck. If you do run across him, please let me know. Best, John
Dr. Fugedy…what an awesome experience! After 20+ years of trying 30 different meds, Dr. Jim treated me with about 10 Tcds sessions for severe depression…Not only did the treatments work but his caring manner was beyond any expectations. Those treatments helped so much, I came back to Atlanta at a later date & purchased my own Activatek. I now use it for “maintenance” on a weekly or bi-weekly basis ~ in conjunction with a small amount of medication. It’s definitely a miracle..and Dr. Fugedy is o ne in a million~ so appreciate his dedication to his patients and his work.
Hello Dale, may I ask what brand is the device the doctor recommended for use at home.? There are so many on the market and have hard time picking one that is safe.
At the time of the interview Dr. Fugedy was using the ActivaDose ll device. It is now available in a kit, complete with appropriate electrodes, from Caputron Medical. Use voucher code ‘diytdcs’ (without the quotation marks) for a generous discount. http://www.caputron.com/transcutaneous-electrical-stimulation/333-caputron-activadose-ii-starter-kit.html
Greetings, We were wondering if you may be aware of a facility where a senior stroke patient with aphasia may receive tdcs treatments near either Chattanooga, Knoxville or Nashville, TN? Thank you!
I just checked to see if there were any clinical trials going on in your area but I don’t see anything close by. The only clinical setting I’ve run across that treats aphasia with tDCS is The Aphasia Center (your comment inspired some research and a blog post!) is in St. Petersburg, FL. You might try contacting them in case they’re aware of practitioners closer to home. If anyone knows other clinics treating stroke with tDCS please let us know.
We treat aphasia patients & work out of Long Island, NY & Charlotte, NC.