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What is being said in the media and academic literature about neurostimulation?
Date:5/22/2014

th little information concerning ethical issues, therapeutic limitations, or side effects that could result from widespread use, whereas academic articles usually involved a more balanced discourse.

"We encountered strong and potentially misleading statements about the real-world effects and applications of tDCS in print media headlines," says Veljko Dubljevic, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the IRCM's Neuroethics research unit and first author of the report. "In our entire sample of media articles, only 3.5 per cent advised caution or mentioned the possibility of adverse effects."

Given the nature of tDCS and the lack of oversight governing its use, the report explains that academic and print media discourse could shape the public's risk-benefit perceptions, impact the uptake of this technology, and, consequently, lead to negative implications for ethical and regulatory oversight.

"With the rapid evolution of tDCS in the public domain and in academia, we recommend three areas of action to tackle the social, ethical and policy implications," adds Dr. Dubljevic. "First, to curtail misunderstandings about tDCS, professional societies, researchers and government agencies should work toward increasing neuroscientific literacy by providing objective neutral data to the media and the public. Second, tDCS devices, as well as their marketing and manufacturing standards, need to be monitored and regulated. Training and licensing procedures should also be considered. Finally, we believe that physicians and other clinicians should become actively engaged in the discussion about ethical, clinical and policy aspects of tDCS."

"The current regulatory gap means that tDCS is readily available as a service, product, or even a homemade device, in many countries without any guidance being provided by policy makers," concludes Dr. Racine. "A response to the policy and regulatory aspects of tDCS is urgently needed."


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Contact: Julie Langelier
julie.langelier@ircm.qc.ca
514-987-5555
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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