Tag Archives: cranial electrotherapy

Happy Thanksgiving: What I’m Thankful For

Thanksgiving is here, so our minds have turned
To what time has taught us, to what we’ve learned:
We often focus all our thought
On shiny things we’ve shopped and bought.
We take our pleasure in material things,
Forgetting the pleasure that friendship brings.
If a lot of our stuff just vanished today,
We’d see the foundation of each happy day
Is special relationships, constant and true,
And that’s when our thoughts go directly to you.

We wish you a Thanksgiving you’ll never forget,
Full of love and joy—your best one yet!

Transcranial Direct Stimulation v. Cranial Stimulation

It is perhaps time to set the record straight about transcranial direct current stimulation, commonly known as tDCS and the sudden rush to embrace this new technology.

There is a serious misunderstanding which should be done away with at the outset. tDCS is not ECT ( electro-convulsive therapy). We are talking instead about a totally different modality. Further, within that modality, yet another distinction should be made. There is tDCS ( transcranial direct current stimulation) and CES (cranial electrical stimulation) which is based not on DC but on AC ( alternating Current).

Much of the current ( no pun intended) hoo-hah is about tDCS  and specifically the device being marketed by foc.us. It is based on research of a dubious nature and promoted as a new hula-hoop for the mind for gamers and those hoping for a quick cognitive fix.

Though it affects the human condition, the FDA has not intervened to regulate the device, primarily because its sponsors make no medical claims. It has also not been adequately tested for safety, though the amperage, being as low as it is in all probability harmless. Due to the absence of studies, very little is known about the long term effects of tDCS on developing brains.

CES ( cranial electrotherapy stimulation) is also a hand-held electronic device that is simple to use and has no side effects. Unlike tDCS, however, CES, however, has been around for more than half a century, has a substantial body of solid scientific research behind it, as well as an unblemished safety track record. CES manufacturers are registered and monitored by the FDA and are allowed to make claims for their device for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Though no claims are made about enhanced cognitive functioning, results demonstrate gains in that realm as well.

cesultra cranial electrical stimulation

Common sense says that cognition is very much a function of those states. If you are less anxious and depressed and getting a good night’s sleep, your cognitive     functioning improves as well. Conversely, the more stressed out you are, the less able you are to think clearly. It is somewhat depressing as one who has worked in the field for more than 35 years to encounter a discussion on the brain and electrical activity and hear not a word about CES. Incidentally, at a time when our veterans are struggling to find a non-drug solution to PTSD, CES is being currently used exactly for that purpose, being prescribed for active duty personnel returning from the mid-east at the Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program at Ft. Hood, TX, at Ft. Campbell, KY, Ft. Joint Ft Lewis-McChord, WA, at the Bremerton WA Naval Hospital, as well as in combat conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan. When it comes to employing gentle electrical stimulation for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well as an associated upswing in cognitive functioning, using a government regulated modality, CES is clearly the only viable option.

CES (Cranial Electrotherapy) Studies of Cognitive Function

Executive Summary. Thirteen studies, in which a total of 648 patients with various types of cognitive dysfunction were treated with cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), were combined statistically in order to get a more confident look at the effectiveness of CES for treating this condition. While many of the studies were of the classic double blind protocol, others used either the single blind or open clinical trial. The result of the analysis showed that the overall effectiveness of CES was 44% improvement.

In most of the studies, cognitive confusion was but one symptom within a larger syndrome. For example, in most of the studies, substance abuse was the presenting syndrome, while in three of the 13 studies, fibromyalgia was the presenting syndrome. And while all presented symptoms of cognitive confusion of some type, it is obvious from the above secondary analysis, that the cognitive dysfunction among the substance abuse patients was very likely of a different, physiological etiology than that of the fibromyalgia patients, who may have been experiencing cognitive distraction due to the stress of the unrelenting pain of their condition.

Researchers earlier received a strong impetus to study CES in substance abuse patients when in the 1970s it was found that the abstinence syndrome, including such features as depression, anxiety and insomnia, was seen to come under control very quickly with CES. Serendipitously it was also discovered that what had up until the 1980s been termed “permanent brain damage” in these patients responded to three weeks of CES treatment by bringing these patients back within the normal functioning range.

A word about the study types. In the open clinical study, the patients know they are being actively treated for their level of cognitive functioning, the clinicians know who is being treated, and the statistician who summarizes the study data also knows, since there is only one group of patients.

In the single blind study, the patients do not know which are getting treated and which are getting sham treatment, but the clinician providing the treatment knows which are the treated patients. In the single blind study, the clinician doing the post study evaluation of the patients is often blinded to treatment conditions when he completes his evaluation. The statistician is usually blinded also, so that he is given two sets of scores to compare, and doesn’t know which group received the treatment. This study design was used earlier on before treatment blinding devices came on stream. In such studies, the treatment was administered sub sensation threshold, in which the clinician turned up the current intensity until the patient just felt it, then turned it back down until the patient said he could no longer feel the stimulation. At that point, the clinician either left the current at that level or turned the unit off (down to, but not including the final click). Because both the patients and the statistician are both blind to the study conditions, some authors have unwittingly published this design as a double blind experiment. But that term is generally reserved for the true double blind experimental design as described next.

The double blind study, the gold standard of science, is usually confined to studies in which neither the patient nor the clinician knows who is being studied. Those designs became available when a double blinding box could be inserted between the patient and the CES device. The double blinding box often had three, four or more settings in addition to a “0” setting in which current flowed freely between the CES unit and the patient. Among the other settings available, some passed current to the patient and some blocked it entirely. The clinician would begin the double blind treatment session by setting all double blinding boxes to the “0” position, would connect the patient to the CES electrodes, turn the current up slowly until the patient signaled he could just feel it, then reduce the stimulus level until the patient signaled that he could no longer feel it. At that point, the clinician set the double blinding box to one of the other settings available and left the patient on the device for 30 minutes to an hour, not knowing who was receiving actual treatment..

Interestingly, in a good double blind experimental design, such as was the case in the majority of those reported in the table, the persons who were responsible for measuring or rating patient improvement were also blind as to whom was treated, as was the statistician who was given anonymous groups of data to analyze. Note that, in effect, that makes such studies quadruple blind, but that term is not used in science.

In the crossover design, half the patients get treated the first week or two of the study, while the other half receive sham treatment. In the second half of the study, the formerly treated patients now receive sham treatment while the formerly sham treated patients receive treatment. If the crossover does not involve a sham treatment condition, then the crossover study is treated as an open clinical trial where all patients and staff know who is being treated at each cross of the study. That design is often referred to as a study with “wait in line” controls, in that the patients waiting to begin treatment are tested before and at the end of the waiting period before going into treatment. That is thought to control for environmental factors such as unusual stressors on the 10 O’clock news, any local dramatic weather changes, and so forth.

By Ray B. Smith, Ph. D.

Fears of dentists cured by Cranial Electrotherapy

Experts believe electrotherapy is the key to solving anxiety related to the dentist. MILLIONS of people could be cured of their fear of dentist surgeries with the help of electrotherapy, new research has claimed

Tiny electrical currents into the brain could help solve people’s terrifying phobia of the dentist.

Experts said a handheld device which transmits cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) reduced anxiety among those with a long fear of dentists.

The study conducted in Nigeria for the Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences said the treatment is similar to the TENS machines used by pregnant women.

The device stimulates nerves for therapeutic purposes and is used by expectant mothers for pain relief.

The research scientists carried out tests on 40 adults scared of the dentist and divided them into four groups.

cranial-electrotherapy-for-dentist

One group were treated with CES, another had relaxation therapy, a third group had both treatments while a fourth had none.

Relaxation therapy involved patients spending 30 minutes with a specialist trainer who taught them exercises to help lower anxiety levels.

The CES worked just as well as the relaxation therapy after 45 minutes.

Whereas having both treatments had no extra benefits but all were far more effective then doing nothing to curb anxiety related to the dentist.

Read more – http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health

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