Neuroscientists Warn Of the Risks In DIY Brain Stimulation

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have issued a warning against the increasingly popular use of do-it-yourself brain stimulation devices. According to the neuroscientists’ open letter in Annals of Neurology journal, the improvised application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) poses hidden risks to healthy members of the public.

salusdigital.net/neuro-scie...

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  • Jiminy Christmas!! DIY brain stimulation??

  • I followed up on this article and the type of DIY DBS they are taking about does not involve drilling holes in the head and chest and there is nothing implanted. I have to admit it that it makes a great image in the mind of a couple of guys with drills going at it!

    This form of DBS they note is when a sweatband type electrical device is attached around the head (a couple times a week) to enhance memory or relieve migraine. It, along with other nootropics, are popular in Germany, and this country is where most of it (DIY DBS) is happening.

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    nootropic

    ˌnōəˈträpik/

    adjective

    1.

    (of a drug) used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions.

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    Here is a list of nootropics which are good for PD:

    The Best Magnesium Supplement for Reversing Memory Loss in Alzheimer’s

    "A proprietary form of magnesium known as magnesium L-threonate, previously found to be exceptionally good at increasing brain magnesium levels, may be the best magnesium supplement for improving brain function."

    universityhealthnews.com/da...

    My comments: great supplement, I use it.

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    L-Theanine and Caffeine Nootropic Stack for Brain Boosting Effects

    nootriment.com/l-theanine-c...

    The original study which determined the combination of theanine and caffeine enhanced human cognition - it raised IQ levels, was at 97 mg of theanine and 40 mg of caffeine. It simultaneously stimulates and calms the mind. Supplements are now available at 100 mg of theanine and 50 mg of caffeine (or some formulation with a similar balance of ingredients).

    The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/210...

    I use theanine every night though I have not tried this supplement (it is on my of to-do list).

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    Acetyl l carnitine & alpha lipoic acid:

    "Overall, most proponents of the Acetyl L Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid combo note greatly improved mental vigor and youthful energy. However, these qualities are often reported from the use of Acetyl L Carnitine alone."

    nootriment.com/acetyl-l-car...

    Of the 2, ALC seems to enhance memory more (than ALA) but it is good to remember that when combined, "LA and ALC worked at 100-1000-fold lower concentrations than they did individually. "

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/204...

    Enhancing memory is one of the effects of ALC but I think this is the most powerful antioxidant combo available. I use this at 1,000 mg ALC & 600 mg ALA (both I consider maximum doses per day). B vitamins, especially thiamine, should be taken when taking this combination.

    "Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a compound acting as an intracellular carrier of acetyl groups across inner mitochondrial membranes. It also appears to have neuroprotective properties and it has recently been shown to reduce attention deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) after long-term treatment."

    medscape.com/viewarticle/45...

    Recently I discovered that ALA is temperature sensitive and should be kept under 60 degrees:

    6. Stabilities of ALPHA LIPOIC ACID

    (1) Thermal Stability

    "Thermal stability of α-lipoic acid was examined. α-lipoic acid easily destroyed at temperature

    as low as 60ºC (as illustrated in Fig. 17). In general, there is a 25% loss of α-lipoic acid upon heating at temperature >60ºC."

    (Put it in the refridgerator.)

    oryza.co.jp/html/english/pd...

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    Sulbutiamine is a thiamine analog and it has been shown to enhance executive function in PD patients (with stable PD):

    Use of sulbutiamine in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and dysthymia

    "In Parkinson's patients, treated with sulbutiamine, an improvement in the cognitive, executive and mnesic functions was observed, with diminution of the sensation of fatigue."

    google.com/patents/US5863925

    This 'supplement' is a synthetic analog and therefore it acts like a drug and should be considered to be one. Yes it raises brain thiamine and

    "Sulbutiamine has other unique properties as well and is noted to increase the number of dopamine receptors in the brain. Since Dopamine is involved in pleasurable sensations as well as our ability to focus and control our desires, Sulbutiamine has a greater propensity to boost productivity and concentration than Thiamine itself."

    nootriment.com/sulbutiamine...

    It is not good for people who are bipolar to take this supplement and it has a series of side effects which are listed in the above article. I have never tried this because of its side effects and agree with the statement below.

    "It is a good idea in general to avoid long-term use of supplements like Sulbutiamine, instead only using them as needed."

    In other words, this statement was targeted at students who have finals and want a boost to enhance memory. It is a popular supplement with young people.

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    I hope this gives some alternatives to DIY DBS.

    Have a good weekend.

    Rich

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