Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation May Lower IQ Scores

Popular electric brain stimulation method used to boost brainpower is detrimental to IQ scores

Using a weak electric current in an attempt to boost brainpower or treat conditions has become popular among scientists and do-it-yourselfers, but a new University of North Carolina School of Medicine study shows that using the most common form of electric brain stimulation had a statistically significant detrimental effect on IQ scores.

…The tDCS boom started in 2000, when German scientists published a paper showing that tDCS could change the excitability of neurons in the motor cortex – the brain region that controls voluntary body movement. Since then, there’s been an explosion of tDCS studies to try to make neurons more active or less active and therefore change outcomes for a variety of brain functions, such as working memory and cognitive acuity, and for illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia.

…Frohlich stressed that the scientific community should be careful not to create simplistic storylines about tDCS being a ‘magic pill’ for many brain-related conditions. “There could be dangerous consequences, especially if tDCS is used daily,” he said. “Ours was an acute study. We don’t know what the long-term effects are. There is so much more we need to understand before tDCS is ready for home use without medical supervision”

I’m not really surprised. I tend to be skeptical of all kinds of “magic pill” solutions.

Worth reading if you’re interested in tDCS:

Cadaver study casts doubts on how zapping brain may boost mood, relieve pain

The tDCS field is "a sea of bull***t and bad science—and I say that as someone who has contributed some of the papers that have put gas in the tDCS tank," says neuroscientist Vincent Walsh of University College London. "It really needs to be put under scrutiny like this."

If your friends jumped off a bridge would you too? Abso-■■■■■■■-lutely… Where’s my lemming hat? If I use more juice do you think it would work better? Warp factor 6 Scotty we need more juice.

There’s no such thing as a miracle cure-all, and anything that claims to be undoubtedly has some flaws. It never hurts to be skeptical about “miracle” anything, be it a new medical treatment or some guy who says he’s an autistic savant (whom we have a whole thread on).