Leadam, 25, founded The Brain Stimulator, a brain stimulation kit-selling business he started in his mother’s California garage. He said he first heard about tDCS in college, and used it as a learning aid to study for a final.“
I don’t really retain textual-based information that well, so I decided to try out the tDCS device while I read to see if it would help me remember,” he said. “The next day when I went in to take the test, I thought I was going to fail, but it turned out that I got an A. And I actually remember looking at the questions and remembering the concepts down to the very paragraph they were located in the book.”
Such brain stimulation is unregulated and not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but that hasn’t stopped it from going mainstream. Dozens of videos on YouTube show people with their own DIY devices, including video gamers who believe their skills have improved by hooking themselves up to tDCS kits.
Leadam says he sells between 25 and 50 of his $90 brain stimulation devices per day, with his mother, uncle and even his grandmother stepping into his home office to help him meet demand. Although his site includes the warning, “The Brain Stimulator is not a medical device,” and “The results are from our findings and may be incomplete and/or completely wrong! Do not view this data as absolute fact,” Leadam says he sees demand for brain stimulation as only growing.