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What Are Deep Brain Stimulation Devices?
Deep-brain-stimulation devices come in different forms. They are used to stimulate the brain in order to produce a certain effect. Some devices, such as the Sooma tDCS device, are made specifically for use by medical professionals or researchers. However, there are other brain-stimulation devices that have become popular for home use.
What is tDCS?
tDCS (trans-cranial direct-current stimulation) is a type of neuro-stimulation that works by passing a low electrical current through specific regions of the brain. The stimulation can produce different results, according to which region of the brain you are targeting. The low-intensity direct current does not trigger an action potential.
The process “primes” the neurons, bringing them closer to firing. The brain is enabled to strengthen or build neural networks and reorganize itself.
This brief video outlines the basics of how the technology works:
What is CES?
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is a type of non-invasive neurostimulation which delivers a small, pulsed, AC current through electrodes generally placed on the temples. Because the FDA classifies CES technology as a Class lll medical device, you’ll need approval from a medical practitioner to purchase a CES device. Some CES-device providers can help you obtain such authorization for a small fee.
How Long Does CES Take to Work?
You can expect to wait around 2 – 3 weeks before starting to see results. However, some users notice results within the first week, while others take longer. For this reason, Caputron offers a trial period of 90 days, which gives you plenty of time to test the device.
CES vs. tDCS
There are some distinct differences between CES and tDCS, even though both are forms of non-invasive, electrical brain stimulation. CES uses a pulsed AC (alternating current) waveform, while tDCS uses a DC (direct current) waveform.
CES has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and depression. They have (as yet) not cleared tDCS for a medical indication in the US. However, tDCS is becoming increasingly popular. It has been cleared in Europe for the treatment of chronic pain such as fibromyalgia and migraine, as well as depression.
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)
TMS is another form of non-invasive neuro-stimulation. It utilizes a changing magnetic field to cause an electrical current to pass through a small, targeted region of the brain. TMS is able to penetrate much more deeply than tDCS or CES, due to the strength of the magnetic field induced.
TMS has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Major-Depressive Disorder (MDD). It may also be helpful in treating schizophrenia, stroke, pain and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
If you are a medical professional interested in a TMS device for your practice, you can get a quote here.
Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)
Audio-visual entrainment is the most commonly used form of brainwave entrainment. The latter refers to the brain’s ability to naturally synchronize its brainwave frequencies with the rhythm of recurrent external stimuli – in this case, auditory and visual. The aim of audio-visual entrainment is to guide the brainwaves to a desired pattern or state.
Of all the different forms of sensory stimuli, sound and light are typically the simplest and most practical means of stimulation. It is thus not surprising that audio-visual entrainment is the most commonly used form of brainwave entrainment. It has been widely used as a therapy for anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, ADD, seasonal affective disorder and fibromyalgia.
AVE has also been seen to improve athletic performance – as well as mental performance in seniors and students.
AVE Devices Compared
There is a large variety of AVE devices on the market. Here is a detailed AVE Device Comparison Guide.