Neuroscientists warn against self-administered brain stimulation

BOSTON – Noninvasive electrical brain stimulation offers hope as a potential new tool to ease the symptoms of certain diseases and mental illnesses. But neuroscientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) are warning against self-administered brain stimulation by so-called “do-it-yourself” (DIY) users. Their “Open Letter” appears in the July 7 issue of Annals of Neurology. “There is much about noninvasive brain stimulation that remains unknown,” said corresponding author Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD, Associate Director of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program and the Associate Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at BIDMC and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “Some risks, such as burns to the skin, are well recognized. However,…

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