Rewiring Our Brains -tDCS.
New technology has found our brains continue to rewire themselves and never stops changing as we age. The term neuroplasticity can now make it possible to repair our damaged brains.
We have 86 Billion Neurons & Nerve Cells in our Brains, so we need to be able to control how we use them.
Imagine stimulating the brain to stop us feeling physical and mental pain or help us our bodily functions due to some sort of brain damage which has caused us to become physically disabled.
Imagine having mental health or neurological problem such as OCD and having the possibility to re-wire the circuits to stop you from having intrusive thoughts, anxiety, stress, depression, and PTSD, or physical disabilities.
Imagine being able to fix the issues and go back to running a normal life.
Believe it or not, is no longer science fiction it is real and it can be done through wearable non-evasive (TDCS) Transcranial direct current stimulation. What this means is the brain gets painless low intensity direct electrical currents stimulation treatment. A constant current flow is passed through two electrodes placed over the head which modulates neuronal activity.
CEOs are starting to use the technology to supercharge their brains to be able to memorize things better and to fine-tune their knowledge. As with all trending technology many high-flying executives are jumping at the chance of grabbing these devices. At the SHA Wellness Clinic on the southern coast of Spain, business leaders and high-powered diplomats take the opportunity to unwind and relax with healthy food, spa treatments, and brain zapping. “They’re decision-makers and people who have very stressful lives and are aware that they need to reset themselves,” says SHA vice president Alejandro Bataller. “They come to learn more about themselves so they can enjoy optimal vitality and brain activity, and therefore productivity.”
Obviously, as with anything hi-tech, there are concerns about the effectiveness of tDCS, with fears that in the wrong hand, people could do themselves long-term damage with unlicensed or homemade devices. According to Vincent Walsh, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London stated that “The field, in general, is plagued by low-quality research and publication bias,” Experiments have had small numbers and poor controls that don’t do a good job of eliminating placebo effects. “When we look at tDCS, people have jumped the gun, they have made claims to sell these things to people that are not based on the literature”.
It is debatable if sending electrical currents to the neurons in the brain, makes them more or less likely to fire and creating the desired effects.
“If I had the opportunity to have the treatment with a safe no-evasive wearable device, I would certainly give it a try”.
“My OCD consumes my life and if I thought that using this device could help with OCD, Depression, Anxiety & PTSD I would jump at the chance to give it a go, obviously, I would wait until after all clinical trials were completed and approved by the MHRA and FDA”.
I have watched some videos which I will add at the end, which I hope will give you a better understanding of the possibilities to help with mental health being and physical disabilities.
However ‘Vincent Walsh’ is concerned about the biased published data not actually showing the negative outcome if any from this treatment. He is worried that only positive results are being published.
In 2014, psychologist Nick Davis at the University of Swansea published a paper calling for “extreme caution” in using tDCS and highlighting a number of problems, including a lack of knowledge about long-term side-effects, a lack of clear dosing guidelines, and a dearth of research about how tDCS might impact children.
“Obviously, I am all for trying something new and there is already a range of devices one can purchase, but I am personally concerned how effective they are considering how much money you initially need to buy of these things and what adverse reactions can come from using these things”.
Before searching the internet I will throw caution in the wind as some devices may be available to buy but may pose a risk to your health especially if they have not been clinically proven and do not have the CE stamp which would mean they do not have a license.
The trending high tech medical device on the market is the Flow Neuroscience headset made by a Swedish Company, which was launched last year and has CE approval in the EU and in the UK which means it can be sold as a medical device for the treatment of depression and is being sold in the UK and Sweden. The device is attached to two points on the forehead.
The co-founder Daniel Mansson, a clinical psychologist believes that other devices on the market cannot treat depression.
Flow aims to provide a pharmaceutical-free treatment for long-term depression, which is, in some cases, associated with lower neural activity in the left frontal lobe. The company secured a £1.2m investment from private equity firm Khosla Ventures to fund clinical studies and support a rollout in the UK and EU.
A note on the Flow website warns that it should only be used by people with a medical diagnosis of depression, but no prescription is required to purchase the hefty price tag of £399 per headset. There is no guarantee that it will work 100% for everyone, which would make me think twice before buying it.
The EU has a new regulation that came into force in May 2020 which will ban the sale of wearable devices that haven’t gone through the CE marking process.
However, Vincent Walsh argues that although devices being CE approved does not prove that the product isn’t dangerous, it’s not equivalent to NICE or FDA approval.
‘Vincent Walsh’ accuses ‘Flow Neuroscience’ the company of being biased and cherry-picking from the publication to show only the positive side of the product is effective at treating depression, ignoring more measured and negative randomized control trials and meta-analyses, as well as “individual differences, treatment resistance and depth of depression”.
Would I try it if it was available on the NHS or if the company sent it to me to try and review, possibly, but I would want to know all the adverse effects and see other peoples experiences and make sure that putting a contraption on my head would not fry my brain? I think I would have to wait until it was FDA approved before trying it out.
Flow is working towards FDA approval in the US and is starting talks with the NHS to make the headset available on prescription.
This will not stop perfectly healthy people from being attracted to the brain zapping device.
I know technology is evolving fast with Elon Musk and Brain to Brain telepathy and mind control called Neuralink
Final Thoughts From The Editor
There are other ways of retraining your brain without a drastic measure of sending electrical currents to your brain or drilling holes.
Would I try the Neuralink if it was offered to me, well for the right price with certain conditions that I was able to secure my daughter’s future should something bad happen to me, then maybe I would consider it. If it meant that I would be helping other people with mental health and neurological conditions like myself then at least I would be remembered for that.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a form of treatment for people with mental health disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a psycho-social intervention that helps to improve mental health. CBT focuses on challenging tasks and changing cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and developing personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.
“From what I have learned over the years your mind has to be in the right place you must be at peace with yourself and your demons”.
For years I have struggled with mental health issues mostly as a direct consequence of grief. I have tried cognitive behavioral therapy and found it to be non-effective. I also had a therapist but found talking about remembering things I wanted to forget, not effective either.
I never tried hypnosis and have been curious about its effectiveness. I have seen how patients terrified of flying or spiders were cured using this technique, however, I believe I have fallen between the gaps for the NHS to help me.
In fact, I sent a very private and confidential letter to my GP today and had an autoresponder message to redirect my inquiry to the practice manager.
What happened to data protection and privacy?
I find medication helps to a certain degree, especially with my sleeping, and does keep me from staying calm most of the time, keeping myself busy is also a factor in managing my disability. My mind is always active and I never run out of ideas of doing something new and I can never say I am bored.
Here Are Some Steps to Retrain Your Brain.
- Accept your thoughts and obstacles. Admit to yourself what is troubling you, face your fears.
- Make a plan for how you will tackle the obstacles and turn your negative thoughts into positives ones.
- Organize your day, keep a planner or diary/journal of things to do.
- Admit to yourself what triggers you.
- Set a plan to move forward, write done what you want to achieve and set goals, create a personal mantra.
- Be thankful for what you have got and be kind to people. Practice daily gratitude.
- Help other people, helping others by empowering and motivation will make you a leader. Pay it back.
- Find mentors or read books on successful people and network with people that inspire you.
- Create a Dream board and visualize what you want from life, practice the law of attraction.
- Eat Healthily (your body is your temple, treat it with respect).
- Keep yourself busy.
- Do crosswords and puzzles.
- Write down your thoughts, this could be a diary or online journal.
- Write a book.
- Start a business.
- Appreciate your surroundings and Nature.
- Be creative, build lego or Airfix models, try art painting with watercolor, oils, and acrylics.
- Make a sculpture.
- Invent something.
- Code Computer Games.
- Learn a Language.
- Learn a New Skill.
- Get a qualification. It is never too late to learn.
- Train as an athlete.
- Become a Coach and do public speaking.
- Make a legacy so that people can remember you.
- Brain train by reading books.
- Brain train by playing video games, app games, or play chess.
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