About

Hello! My name is Dr. Brent Williams. I’m a speaker, writer, and retired director of the KSU iTeach Center. If you need someone to speak about leading edge technologies to your meeting, group, or conference, send an email to brent@speakwisdom.com .

SpeakWisdom is a little blog I have created where I post news, opinions, and more. Within these posts you’ll find Wisdom for the Leading Edge of Life. Enjoy!

I’m also an Extra Class ham radio operator. My call is K4GHR. Look for me – mostly on the 17 and 20 meter bands SSB.

Meet my wife Madge and her assistive dog Twix. Madge is smart, very articulate, and easy on they eyes. She writes a blog too – check it out at http://www.wisdomandfaith.com .

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SpeakWisdom.com is my blog and as such contains opinion, repostings, and assorted information from various sources. Use of information contained herein is completely at the users (readers) risk.

The phrase “Wisdom for the Leading Edge of Life” is my creation, is copyright 2013 and is my trademark.

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42 comments on “About

  1. Hello, I have been considering purchasing the ActivaDose Phoresor for TDCS and would like to know if you have received positive results? I have been waiting for the inexpensive GoFlow however I’m sure that the ActivaDose is a much better unit.

    • I assume you are referring to the ActivaDose II. It is being used by practitioners and researchers for tDCS treatments. It’s user interface is a little klunky, but it gets the job done. I don’t know of anything better for the price.

      Brent

    • Apparently, the ActivaDose II is pretty widely used for tDCS. It works well and has a moderate price. I think there is a huge market for a quality tDCS device that sells for around $100. The devices are so simple, that price point should be pretty easy to achieve.

      Brent

  2. Hi Dr. Williams! I blog about tDCS at DIYtDCS.com and have been following your tDCS building experiments. I’m not yet strong enough in my understanding of electronics to develop my own device, but in recognizing the need for a well-designed, inexpensive tDCS device I’ve set up a project on Upverter. We also have one of the Upverter engineers on the team. There you can collaborate on a design, then choose parts for it and have it made in China and shipped here. Anyone would be able to order one. I write to ask if you’d consider being a part of the design team. If you’re curious, please check out https://upverter.com/opentdcs/ Or email me directly. Best, John

    • Sounds very interesting. I’ve been scouring the China market looking for a low current DC module that might be used for tDCS and so far have not found one. Having a custom built board may be the best way to go. The whole Arduino approach seems way too complicated and expensive. Why not a simple LM334 design? It might sell for $10 or less!

      Brent

  3. One little thing, the late (and sorely missed) Bob Pease pointed out that to compensate an LM334 design (his design, if I’m not mistaken!) properly against temperature changes, using copper wire wound resistors for the current limit does a pretty good job. But bear in mind that you might need to add some capacitance judiciously in the feedback loop or the nductance of that device might lead to undesirable instability.

  4. Hello

    Please will you build one of your machines tdcs and send it to the UK? I’m in a bad way through depression. I’ll pay of course. Please reply!

    • Hi William,
      I do not sell or distribute tDCS devices. I suggest you look at the tDCS devices I’ve reviewed on my blog or do some Google searching for one. There are now several models available.
      Brent

  5. Brent, So I’ve been using the Foc.us device for a couple of days. This is not a placebo, that I’m sure of. I feel different, better overall, more social and peaceful somehow. I wanted to ask you, after reading your user guide for Foc.us, I learned to select ‘Continuous’ for the current. Before I was using it under ‘Paired’. Was I getting no current then or better yet: do you have any input on the Paired setting?

    • I don’t think the “paired” item should show in the list. foc.us needs to change that. It’s simply showing the headset is paired with the phone (and seems to start a session based on the last button settings made on the headset). Don’t use that – pick “continuous”.

      Brent

  6. Hi Brent, I have just bought myself pair of amrex sponge electrodes but my banana connectors are a bit to large to fit in them, could you by any chance check yours and tell me if they use maybe 2mm ones, I don’t want to buy the wrong ones this time.

  7. thanks for your quick answer….as per your suggestion have been doing a lot of reading….came across 8 COIL SHAKTI Neuromagnetic Signal Generator do you have any imput or info on it ?

  8. hi brent
    unfortunately someone in the family has been diagnosed with turrets …..are you aware of any work being done with tdcs for turrets ?

  9. (warning for people deciding on which device to purchase)
    Dr Williams, thank you for all the wonderful information you have provided! i am excited about tdcs and will continue to watch your site for information. however, i sadly wanted to let you know that i followed your link to ‘the brain stimulator’ and purchased a device with electrodes. after patiently waiting weeks for my item i called them and they claimed to have sent it and stated that if i did not receive it then it was my loss, as they refused to fix the problem by refund or sending me one when i told them it never arrived. they have no phone number and after that initial interaction stopped responding to my emails. additionally, they only use paypal, and when i asked why they didn’t send me any shipping/tracking information they claimed that paypal sent me the shipping info. which clearly isn’t how paypal works and i contacted paypal who, of course, verified that they only process payments and do not handle shipping so that doesn’t make sense. it looks like i’m out for over $100 after buying the device, electrodes, and shipping, and i got nothing but a very rude email from them.
    if you’re investing in a device like this and you care about your own well being AND not being scammed, i suggest you purchase from a more reputable company. these people, if they’re making a decent/real product at all, haven’t figured out how to handle purchasing, shipping, customer service… they didn’t even have the device available for shipping until weeks after i’d inquired about it… and then i never got it at all after they notified me that they’d ‘made enough’ to start selling them again. try another company! buying a cheaper device isn’t worth it if you’re just wasting time and throwing money away.

    • I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience. But I’m not clear on something. Did you pay with PayPal? If so, why don’t you dispute the transaction with PayPal? You will get your money back. That’s what PayPal is for.

      Brent

      • There is no possibility that this individual ordered from our company. We always take care of customers and will usually replace the order if anything goes wrong (even lost packages). We are always polite and curious, something I set in place as a standard when dealing with customers when I started the company. Furthermore we do not have a contact phone number and thus would not have spoken to this individual other than through email.

        That being said, if Chris can provide valid information (order ID #, PayPal payment information, order date, etc.) I will certainly eat my hat and be sure to make everything right.

  10. I disputed with paypal when the brain stimulator company told me they had a tracking number stating my device was sent. They had not sent me this when I ordered and when I made the point I had received no such tracking order or even shipment confirmation, they had the audacity to suggest that thy was provided via pay pal, which makes no sense, as PayPal doesn’t ship the item. Nevertheless, after the email to the brain stimulator pointing out this fact, they simply stopped responding to me altogether! They have only an email address, no phone or mailing address on the site. I can’t even figure out where they are based. So, I contacted paypal to complain. PayPal confirmed that they did not send me tracking info… Nevertheless, while I’ve disputed the charge, it looks like I’m simply out the money as the company says it was shipped and delivered. Even IF this is true and the item was lost in the mail or went to the wrong address, a reputable business would honor the customer and want their product out there, where I could have been a good source of business in addition to my purchase and good customer service, word of mouth and good internet reviews could have grown their company, but instead I lost money, time, and got only a rude email back from them, that it’s not their problem, before they stopped responding altogether. I want to put out the word that they are not a safe company to send your money to.

    • There is no possibility that this individual ordered from our company. We always take care of customers and will usually replace the order if anything goes wrong (even lost packages). We are always polite and curious, something I set in place as a standard when dealing with customers when I started the company. Furthermore we do not have a contact phone number and thus would not have spoken to this individual other than through email.

      That being said, if Chris can provide valid information (order ID #, PayPal payment information, order date, etc.) I will certainly eat my hat and be sure to make everything right.

  11. Hello Mr. Williams,

    I came across your blog via article in Wired. Do you happen to have a facebook page? I find it best way of following up on issues that interest me (of which self-improvement is pretty much on the very top).

    Kind regards,

    Wojtek

  12. Hello and thank you so much for your work here and elsewhere!

    I’d like to know if you have come across the Apex device: http://www.apexdevice.net/
    It seems extremely well built and robust and I like the built-in meter. The downside, apparently, to the insanely cool looking Foc.us devices seems to be build quality, no meter and no user changeable battery. For the Apex, it seems that one might need to add another battery so as to overcome resistance?

    Anyway, most interested in your thoughts and thanks again for your expertise and good will.

    I’m going to buy one soon, the question is which?

    Best,

    David

    • I’ve read about the Apex device though have not reviewed a sample yet. It seems like it would be a good DIY device – as you point out, having a good feature set, etc.

      I’ve always thought that 9 v for a tDCS device might not be sufficient for some – due to skin, electrode, etc. resistance. There is at least one competing device that uses two 9 volt batteries in series.

      I like both the foc.us V1 and now the new V2. The V2 is more sophisticated than the Apex – but at a higher price, too.

      Brent

  13. Hello DR Williams, very interested subject unfortunally almost unheard of here in my part of the world. Do you know if there are any consumer tDCS machines made in Europe? Im interested in trying one out, but unfortunally the cost of shipment+customs+25%VAT makes it very expensive to purchase a machine outside of the US. Best Regards Robert

  14. Dr. Williams,

    First of all I wanted to say thank you for the reviews on the products you have written, I think you did a great job. I am in a situation where my insurance will not cover tDCS treatments. Due to the severity of my condition, I’ve tried 90% of the treatments available for my condition and all have failed. It’s very painful to lose 20 years of your life to an illness and then find a device that you believe may work for your condition, but it turns out you have to be a doctor to purchase the more powerful and clinic machines that could save your life. Since I have lost almost everything and everyone in my life, are my chances better leaving the US to get the help and best tDCS equipment or treatment that could save my life?

    Thank you,
    J

    • You do not need to be a doctor to purchase a tDCS device. So far, I know of none covered by insurance, but entry level tDCS devices are pretty inexpensive ($100 price range.)

      Brent

  15. Brent, I cannot thank you enough for using your gifts and talents to benefit so many. My teenage daughter was diagnosed with anxiety (that apparently started with puberty) after a suicide attempt – our first and only warning of a problem, as she hid it well. I know I am objective as her mother, but she is very smart, athletic, outgoing and beautiful but is competitive and perfectionistic and pushes herself. Sleep deprivation, anxiety and injuries that sidelined her from sports for a semester resulted in depression. It is so painful to realize how close we came to losing her. She has insomnia (we did not realize she wasn’t sleeping), OCD (trichotillimania), and ADHD but is not interested in taking the meds for ADHD based on how she has seen it affects her friends. She is doing much better, Zoloft and talk therapy help the anxiety but she still struggles with sleep and ADHD type symptoms. We have spent so much on therapy, treatments and medications that the $1200 price I saw on the Alpha-Stim seemed overwhelming but like it would be beneficial to her. When I came across your blog, I was so relieved that it doesn’t need to be that expensive. I am not mechanical in any sense of the word and most of the articles on the subject of diy tDCS are beyond my intellectual abilities, not to mention that time is scarce with 3 children in a multitude of activities and my husband and I both work full time. I am so appreciative that you have shared your knowledge. 4 questions:

    Q1 – Could you please confirm for me that if I just want to take the plunge, do it, and get it up and running, all I need to buy is:
    – a foc.us V2 stimulator device (~$200)
    – electrodes – it sounds like the gamer headset (~$100) is my best option since I don’t think I could build the Amrex without you at my elbow – I remove sponge holders from the metal band and use an elastic headband.

    Q2 – I understand you are not prescribing treatment and you have not seen my daughter, but could you share what you have seen regarding whether there are different protocols for how to use this device (settings, number, length and timing of sessions) for:
    –anxiety;
    –depression;
    –insomnia;
    –ADHD;
    –enhancing sports performance (volleyball, cross country, cheerleading);
    –enhancing memory and cognitive abilities
    I’m sure there are always outliers to anything that have an atypical response, I’m just talking about typical responses by most people that you recall hearing about.

    Q3 – Same disclaimer as Q2, but if there are different treatment protocols, have you seen any contraindications for the same person using this device for all of the above purposes?

    Q4 – If I want to try it because I am a stressed out, distracted, but (so far) coping mom, is there any harm in that, that you recall seeing in the literature?

    Thank you again! I cannot begin to describe my gratitude for my daughter, my family and all families that have ever found themselves in a similar situation.

    Erin

    • Hi Erin,

      Thank you for your note.

      I don’t recommend tDCS treatment montages. I always suggest that each person do their own research or contact a doctor that is using tDCS in their practice. There are many sources of tDCS information on the web – and you can find links to some examples at the bottom of most of the blog posts that I write.

      Best to you.
      Brent

    • I don’t know of any consumer tACS devices other than the foc.us V2. Perhaps someone else can make a suggestion?

      Studies of tDCS run a wide range of topics and results. Most are small studies that represent a particular set of circumstances. tDCS does so much good (treating depression, chronic pain, etc.) that one negative result does not speak for all.

      Brent

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