Theodore H. Schwartz, MD, received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. After completing his residency and chief residency in Neurosurgery at The Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Dr. Schwartz spent a year at Yale-New Haven Medical Center receiving advanced fellowship training. Dr. Schwartz specializes in the surgical treatment of brain tumors, pituitary tumors and epilepsy using the latest techniques in computer-guided surgical navigation, minimally invasive endoscopy and microsurgery. Dr. Schwartz was recently named David and Ursel Barnes Professor in Minimally Invasive Surgery, the first endowed professorship in the department.
Dr. Schwartz has provided commentary for numerous television shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Larry King, in addition to national radio shows. His expertise has been sought through interviews, quoted and published, in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, and Crain's New York Business; he is asked to lecture throughout the country and world. Dr. Schwartz has published many scholarly articles for the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, Epilepsy, Clinical Neurosurgery the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, Nature Medicine, Neuroimaging and the Journal of Neuroscience.
Dr. Schwartz has been named one of New York's Super Doctors, Best Doctors in New York Magazine, America's Top Surgeons, America's Best Doctors and America's Best Doctors for Cancer. He is the co- author of two books on endoscopic skull base surgery and endoscopic pituitary surgery.
There are several studies that have been performed to assess the impact of tDCS electrodes placed over the forehead (the general location of F3 and F4 over DLPFC). Some studies are well designed, with control groups and objective measurements of focus, attention and processing speed. Others are not well-designed and should read with skepticism. In one very well designed study, McIntire et al. (see reference below), 50 men and women were divided into 4 groups and given tests of attention, reaction time and short term memory over a 36 hour period of sleep deprivation. While one group received real tDCS, others received placebo tDCS and others received caffeine gum. In this study, the tDCS group had statistically significant better performance than the other groups. In another study by Nelson et al (see reference below), two groups of ten men and women were given either real or sham tDCS to DLPFC. Both groups were administered a test of multitasking. The group receiving tDCS showed a rapid increase in their ability to multitask sustained over the course of the experiment. These studies and others like them indicate that the effects of tDCS are reproducible. However, studies with small groups can be prone to error and studies with larger populations may be required to confirm these results.
In this publication from 2021 in Science Reports, the authors show that transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, is helpful at increasing working memory. There are a few important take-aways from this article that are relevant to the Liftid device. First, the authors used a similar location for their stimulation, namely the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, or DLPFC. Second, the amplitude of their stimulation was on 1 mA, which is similar to Liftid’s 1.2 mA amplitude. Third, the stimulation lasted 10 minutes, which is also within the range of Liftid’s 20-minute stimulation. Finally,the study was well-designed with both sham and control groups.
The effect on working memory was clear. What, exactly, is working memory? As opposed to long-term memory, working memory is our ability to hold information in our brains for a short period of time, such as a 7-digit phone number. If I ask you to call a phone number and tell you the seven digits, you will need to remember those seven digits for a few seconds until you dial, after which you are likely to forget them, unless you dial this same number multiple times. While working memory is only one small aspect of the brain’s attention and performance systems, there is a great deal of overlap between these different networks, and a task that tests working memory often also relies on alertness, performance and attention.
While it is difficult to directly extrapolate the results of a single study done under specific parameters to the use of Liftid, this study provides further evidence of a real effect of tDCS when placed on DLPFC at amplitudes on the order of 1 mA. We are constantly reviewing the scientific literature for new studies and will continue to critically read and assess the data as it emerges.
In a new publication in the basic science journal Cerebral Cortex, Tedla et al performed a meta-analysis of the published literature on high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS). Of the 468 studies, they found that specifically dealt with the effects of tDCS on higher mental functions. Nine studies had control groups and three were pre-post studies with no control group. They concluded that anodal HD-tDCS stimulation was significantly effective in treating disordered consciousness and improving memory, speech, cognition.
Dr. Theodore Schwartz shows how the brain works and how tDCS can make the brain work a little faster.
Dr. Theodore Schwartz shows how tDCS can impact astrocytes, blood vessels and neurotransmitters in the brain.
Dr. Theodore Schwartz on the LIFTiD device and how it could impact your brain.
Dr. Theodore Schwartz on terminology and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex.
Dr. Theodore Schwartz on maximizing brain function.
Dr. Theodore Schwartz on the brain and today’s society.