Transcranial electric stimulation in do-it-yourself applications

Transcranial electric stimulation (tES), in particular transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), has emerged as a widely distributed research tool for influencing human brain function. Its simplicity and low cost has contributed substantially to its do-it-yourself (DIY) use for brain enhancement or even treatment of diseases in lay populations. Here, we define DIY as self-application of tES without fully conforming to a verified efficacious protocol and/or using a device that has not been certified. DIY-ers are either healthy subjects looking for neuroenhancement and/or patients (most frequently chronic pain, seasonal affective and generalized anxiety disorders, bipolar or schizophrenic patients) seeking treatment. Their primary goal is self-improvement or self-treatment on a self-observational basis.

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