Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the brain is a noninvasive method of stimulating specific brain regions. In fact, studies are recently analyzing the effects of tDCS of the right DLPFC for 20 minutes and the effects of food intake! Just imagine, you want to decrease your food intake and you can simply go to a psychiatrist (perhaps a Physical Therapist, we perform electrical stimulation…) and have a region of your brain activated for 20 minutes a day! The current of the tDCS was 1 mA, a relatively small current. Before we jump on the bandwagon, we need to see if tDCS works for food intake!
So … What are the Side effects of tDCS
Overall, it seems tDCS appears to significantly reduce calorie and carbohydrate intake. However, the long-term effects of this protocol and the side effects suggest this protocol should only be used when necessary.
More realistic management of food intake is through lifestyle modification. At COR, we manage a lot of clients with increased food intake during our boot camp consultations or individualized personal training sessions.
- Jauch-Chara K, Kistenmacher A, Herzog N, Schwarz M, Schweiger U, Oltmanns KM. Repetitive electric brain stimulation reduces food intake in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug 6. pii: ajcn.075481. [Epub ahead of print]
Written by Dr. G. John Mullen, DPT, CSCS