Most Popular
1. THE INFLATION MONSTER is Forecasting RECESSION - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Why APPLE Could CRASH the Stock Market! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Stocks Stealth BEAR Market - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Inflation, Commodities and Interest Rates : Paradigm Shifts in Macrotrends - Rambus_Chartology
5.Stock Market in the Eye of the Storm, Visualising AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI Tech Stocks Earnings BloodBath Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
7.PPT HALTS STOCK MARKET CRASH ahead of Fed May Interest Rate Hike Meeting - Nadeem_Walayat
8.50 Small Cap Growth Stocks Analysis to CAPITALISE on the Stock Market Inflation -Nadeem_Walayat
10.Apple and Microsoft Nuts Are About to CRACK and Send Stock Market Sharply Lower - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
The Inflation Mega-trend and UK House Prices - Housing Market Analysis Trend Forecast 2022 to 2025 - 5th July 22
Gold Price Summer Seasonal Doldrums - 5th July 22
Tame Budgies Having Fun on a Grape Vine - UK Parakeet Easy Training - 5th July 22
Is the US Yield Curve Inversion Broken? - 3rd July 22
New Signs Economic Turmoil Will Prompt Fed to Lose Its Nerve - 3rd July 22
Stagflation With Powell Could Make Gold Price Happy - 3rd July 22
UK Housing Market Analysis, Trend Forecast 2022 to 2025 - Part 2 - 30th June 22
Stock Market Turning the Screws - 30th June 22
How to Ignore Stocks (and why you should) - 30th June 22
Top Tips For Getting The Correct Insurance Option For Your Needs - 30th June 22
Central Banks Plan To Buy More Gold In 2022 - 30th June 22
AI Tech Stock PORTFOLIO NAME OF THE GAME - 29th June 22
Rebounding Crude Oil Gets Far Away from the Bearish Side - 29th June 22
UK House Prices - Lets Get Jiggy With UK INTEREST RATES - 28th June 22
This “Bizarre” Chart is Wrecking the Stock Market - 28th June 22
Recession Question Answered - 28th June 22
Technical Analysis: Why You Should Expect a Popularity Surge - 28th June 22
Have US Bonds Bottomed? - 27th June 22
Gold Junior Miners: A Bearish Push Is Coming to Move Them Lower - 27th June 22
Stock Market Watching Out - 27th June 22
The NEXT BIG EMPIRE WILL BE..... CANZUK - 25th June 22
Who (or What) Is Really in Charge of Bitcoin's Price Swings? - 25th June 22
Crude Oil Price Forecast - Trend Breaks Downward – Rejecting The $120 Level - 25th June 22
Everyone and their Grandma is Expecting a Big Stocks Bear Market Rally - 23rd June 22
The Fed’s Hawkish Bite Left Its Mark on the S&P 500 Stocks - 23rd June 22
No Dodging the Stock Market Bullet - 23rd June 22
How To Set Up A Business To Better Manage In The Free Market - 23rd June 22
Why Are Precious Metals Considered A Good Investment? Find Out Here - 23rd June 22
UK House Prices and the Inflation Mega-trend - 22nd June 22
Sportsbook Betting Reviews: How to Choose a Sportsbook- 22nd June 22
Looking to buy Cannabis Stocks? - 22nd June 22
UK House Prices Momentum Forecast - 21st June 22
The Fed is Incompetent - Beware the Dancing Market Puppet - 21st June 22
US Economy Headed for a Hard Landing - 21st June 22
How to Invest in EU - New Opportunities Uncovered - 21st June 22
How To Protect Your Assets During Inflation - 21st June 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

How "Shock Therapy" Could Make Us All Smarter

Companies / Tech Stocks Jun 11, 2012 - 07:43 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMichael A. Robinson writes: Mention the term "shock treatment," and just about everyone recoils in horror.

Indeed, the practice of sending electrical currents through the brain has gotten some very bad press over the years.

Now there's a brand-new twist on shock therapy. It offers a much more nuanced, gentler approach than what most people envision.

And new research indicates that it could have a wide range of advantages for millions of patients dealing with the effects of strokes and other damage to the brain. It could also help people manage pain.

Not only that, but - incredibly - shock therapy has now been shown to aid in the learning of new skills.

The U.S. military even hopes to use this new technology to train soldiers.

I'll give you all the details in a moment. But first, a bit of history.

Jumpstarting the Brain
The controversial method of therapy, first used in the 1930s, produces seizures in the brain - a practice that has been shown to have therapeutic benefits. The exact mechanism of action isn't really understood, but it seems to "jumpstart" the brain in depressed patients.

The practice first came under a cloud in the 1970s with two very visible depictions of the practice - one real and one fictional.

The real one actually helped steer the course of the 1972 presidential election (which remains one of the great train wrecks in recent U.S. politics).

At the time, Sen. George McGovern hoped to unseat Pres. Richard Nixon.

But just shortly after securing the Democratic nomination, a bombshell hit the headlines - McGovern's running mate Sen. Thomas Eagleton suffered from depression.

Even worse, the Missouri Democrat confirmed he had received what is officially known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on at least three occasions during the 1960s.

That worried voters. Could Eagleton handle the pressures of the office? What would happen if McGovern died and left him in the White House?

McGovern's reaction to the news didn't help matters.

He first stated he was behind Eagleton "one thousand percent;" then, bowing to pressure, he dumped his running mate. But it was too late. McGovern couldn't live it down; it was one of the reasons he lost in a landslide to Nixon.

Just three years later, the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" took the nation by storm.

Set in a mental ward in Salem, Ore., it showed the dark, painful side of shock treatment, as the vile Nurse Ratched used it to punish her wards.

The portrayal of shock therapy wasn't quite accurate - most patients give consent and are put under anesthesia during treatment - but it stuck.

The film went on to win five Oscars. Jack Nicholson bagged his first "Best Actor" award for his portrayal of Randle McMurphy, a criminal who is feigning mental illness to escape hard labor. In the movie, after a group therapy session turns into a brawl instigated by Randle, he is sent up to "the shock shop."

The practice has gotten a very bad rap, but it is still used today, because there are undeniable therapeutic benefits.

And we may have just started to tap them.

Promising New Uses for "Shock Therapy"
The most recent progress report comes from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md. The center ranks as a world leader in treating children with disorders of the brain and spinal cord.

In a new study published last week in the Journal of Neurophysiology, a KKI research team said transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) works. This approach has a complex name. But at heart, it's a simple process. Here's how tDCS works.

Patients wear a small headband with two electrodes, one for positive and one for negative charges. Doctors position the electrodes on the scalp and over parts of the cerebellum - which controls motor function and some learning - and the device delivers a steady flow of low-level current into the brain.

(The tDCS device relies on battery power, which means it can't deliver enough voltage to cause any serious injuries. But just in case, it contains a safety fuse, too.)

This new method shows great promise in teaching people how to walk correctly again, after suffering a stroke or other brain injury. They said patients who used the system retained their training much longer than those who didn't.

For millions of Americans, the study's results are good news indeed.

Fact is, strokes remain the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., after cancer and heart disease.

A stroke occurs when a clogged or burst artery stops blood flow to the brain. This deprives the brain of needed oxygen and causes the affected cells to die. When that occurs, the functions of the body parts they control are impaired or lost.

Each year about 700,000 people suffer strokes. Experts say they cost the U.S. a combined $45 billion a year, of which about half goes to medical care and rehab.

As it turns out, these headbands aren't limited just to better walking. Speech therapist and researcher Jenny CrinionatUCL Institute of Cognitive Neurosciencein London uses them to treat speech defects caused by strokes.

Researchers also use the method to teach new skills. Just ask Roi Cohen Kadosh. He's a researcher at the University of Oxford in England who found that applying about 15 minutes of gentle jolts made people better at math.

Here's what's especially interesting to me. The Kennedy Krieger team found they could actually set the pace of progress; using more positive current increased learning, while more negative current reduced it.

The Pentagon is testing it as well. Last year, a research arm funded a low-voltage brain study. It showed that soldiers getting the treatment performed better at a video game used to train soldiers for duty in Iraq.

Yet I think even that is just the beginning.

In the Era of Radical Change, we are destined to learn much more about how the brain works. We're pouring billions into this field for good reason.

The brain is the key to learning why humans are so much smarter than other animals. And it's vital for treating diseases, from Alzheimer's to depression, as well as head injuries.

I believe that in the years ahead we will see a steady stream of breakthroughs that will improve and enhance the complex instrument that is the human brain.

Thus, if these particular headbands don't find wide use in the near future, I'm not worried. Something even better is bound to emerge.

P.S. If you're interested in learning about high tech investment opportunities long before they hit the pages of the main stream press, the Era of Radical Change newsletter is a great place to start.

And you can't beat the price. You can get it free by clicking here.

Source :

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2011 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email:

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in