Hopeful Currents

PsychTodayOne day last September, 40-year-old Jaime Campbell walked into a brain research laboratory at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where a researcher affixed two sponge-covered electrodes to her head. One was positioned above her left eye, over her brain’s prefrontal cortex, and the other was set on the side of her head, over her auditory cortex. With the turn of a dial, a steady two milliamps of direct current coursed through the electrodes for 20 minutes.

Campbell was the first subject in a clinical trial testing whether a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, could quell her auditory hallucinations; as a schizophrenic, she had heard near-constant background noise—like a tea party, with cups and dishes clanging and people chattering—ever since her illness surfaced at age 15. Drugs had never managed to eliminate it.

[Read more at Psychology Today // January 6, 2015]