LONDON (CBS Atlanta) – Shock treatment therapy recalls the nightmare of early 20th Century psychiatry when electrical impulses were used to wrench patients out of catatonic or schizophrenic states.

But now researchers at Oxford University in England are trying a kinder, gentler version of the treatment on children between the ages of 8 and 10.

The goal, to see if they can over come learning disabilities, reports

The procedure is called a Transcranial electrical stimulation, it’s a steady stream of low current electricity that stimulates brain activity.

The kids spend 30 minutes twice a week being studied as part of ongoing research into how electrical currents could help learning.

Lead researcher Cohen Kadosh found that when he attached an anode to the area of the brain known as the left posterior parietal cortex and a cathode to the right side of the same region and applied the mild current, learning skills improved.

But when he reversed the electrical conductors, the treatment didn’t work.

Kadosh warns against commercial brain-stimulation devices, saying they can be dangerous.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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