The delivery of non-invasive electric current is also called electric brain stimulation. This is not the electric shock from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” That was invasive electric current, involving anesthesia and mouth guards. This method is non-invasive electric current for memory and other brain function enhancement. With these methods, you’re awake and sitting upright, and it’s reported not to hurt. In fact, these methods can be used for pain.
Brain Stimulation Methods
There are two primary delivery systems. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) uses a magnetic coil to stimulate small areas of the brain. Transcranial Current Stimulation (tCS) is a more recent entry into the field. tCS uses a weak electric current, either direct (tDCS) or alternating (tACS). While both are safe, there are reports of tDCS causing skin problems. There are no such reports for tACS.
The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) offers a wide array of research papers on these methods. Recent research studies have found brain stimulation, especially tDCS, safe. And while the research is in the early stages, researchers and clinicians seem optimistic.
Brain stimulation claims include enhanced memory, focus, and learning. And aside from the cognitive benefits, some have found help with anxiety and depression, and even quitting smoking. If you’re interested, you might start by consulting a neurologist who uses brain stimulation in a clinical setting. But the cost can be prohibitive without the support of your insurance company. There are also home devices available, but you’ll need a prescription for some of these. Other home devices are available online, though it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor first.
The field of brain stimulation with non-invasive electric current for memory and other mental abilities is a hopeful step forward in the search for solutions. Brain problems are both damaging and difficult to treat. Brain stimulation is safe, and it can seem miraculous. This is a field of study that promises to become even more fruitful over time.