FDA Approves Using Electricity All Night Long on Children’s Brains


When I read of this latest human rights assault on our helpless to resist, totally vulnerable and dependent minor children by the FDA, psychiatry, NAMI and big business, I had that awful kind of emotional reaction of feeling both like crying and punching a hole in the wall at the same time. It’s a rage and grief combination of outrage by a father, grandfather and a longtime licensed child and adolescent therapist.

The FDA just approved sales of an electrical device called the Monarch eTNS, manufactured by the NeuroSigma company of Los Angeles, to be used on the brains of children diagnosed with so-called ADHD.

The Monarch eTNS device is the size of your cellphone, with a wire attached to an electrode that gets stuck on a 7-12 year old child’s forehead above their eyebrows all night long while electricity is released into the child’s trigeminal cranial nerve, and also into their vulnerable pre-frontal cortex — “which sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD,” according to the FDA press release.

“Therapeutic signals”? Really?

The “parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD”? Really?

My god, Orwell’s dystopian 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World is now here. Take your pick.

I say: FDA, you must prove those outrageous, pseudoscience claims about exactly how this directly applied electric current scientifically affects children’s brains.

When I broke this news to my friend Dr. Peter Breggin, he said I needed to be on his Public Radio Network program to help sound the alarm about this FDA newly approved nightmare and “to talk about all the atrocities we commit on our children.”

Here’s the link to that intense hour with my friend Peter.

When we were done, Peter stated that because of the FDA reported side effects of headache, fatigue, teeth clenching, drowsiness, increased appetite and sleeplessness caused by the infliction of this new psychiatric electrical assault to the pre-frontal cortex of children’s brains, “I have concluded that we will be inflicting ‘mini-lobotomies’ of epidemic proportions on our children under the cover of psychiatry.”

No one has fought harder for decades than Peter against ECT and the harmful medications used by psychiatry. Please see the vast resources available on his website breggin.com.

I’ve been a therapist working with children and teens aged 3 to 18 since the early 1980’s. I’ve never diagnosed a child or teen with so-called ADHD or with the label that too often comes next, so-called bipolar disorder, while at the large public sector mental health system where I worked for 28 years — or since. (See my article, “Will Psychiatry’s Harmful Treatment of Our Children Bring About Its Eventual Demise?”)

I’ve never referred any of those children or teens for psychiatric medication of any kind either. (See “Why Parents Give Amphetamines and Other Risky Psychiatric Drugs to the Children They Love.”)

So when frightened parents come to me saying that overwhelmed teachers are demanding that their child must be seen by an MD and evaluated for ADHD, and then be placed on amphetamine-based stimulants like Ritalin and Adderal, I go to the school with the parents to convince the teachers and principal that psycho-social resources like family and individual therapy could help instead to relieve the child’s restless and very active behavior that was upsetting the teacher in the often overcrowded and overstimulating chaotic classroom environment. I’d also urge getting parental support from progressive groups (not NAMI groups) that didn’t rely on and promote the psychiatric disease model as all NAMI parent groups do.

Also, when parents come to me and say that the child psychiatrist they just took their child to see for an ADHD evaluation reached into his desk drawer after five minutes and ghoulishly took out a model of a child’s brain for the huge-eyed child and frightened parent to see, and pointed to a spot on the plastic model of the child’s brain and said, “Right here is where there is an ADHD problem with your brain that the medication I’ll give you today will fix,” I respond in the same way. When I recently heard that awful story from a parent, I again urged them to start family and child therapy and attend parental support groups to help avoid amphetamine-based medication being prescribed for their child.

The harmful so-called “side effects” from those amphetamine-based stimulant drugs that Peter Breggin has so thoroughly documented are really the actual drug effects.

But so too are the so-called side effects reported from the new Monarch electrical brain home treatment device. Again, those unacceptable real effects are “drowsiness, an increase in appetite, trouble sleeping, teeth clenching, headache and fatigue.”

The FDA also amazingly stated about the Monarch eTNS device: “No serious adverse events were associated with use of the device.” What do they mean by “serious adverse events” if the awful effects listed above from electrical currents being sent into the brain aren’t serious enough? For the psychiatric apologists at the FDA, does the lack of a “serious adverse event” mean that none of the children in the Orwellian research experiment went into convulsions, went blind or died from the electricity hitting their vulnerable developing brains all night long? (See “Should Children Have Consent Rights For Psychosurgery, ECT and Sterilization?”)

And get this — in the research trials where only 30 labelled and stigmatized kids were given the electric home treatment instead of the other group who got placebo, the FDA doesn’t even blink when they report that the therapeutic response “may take up to 4 weeks to become evident.”

So every night for a month, parents are instructed and expected to send electricity into their child’s brain at home while the child sleeps, and the parents wait for the supposed results while their child suffers the real effects (not so-called ‘side’ effects) of the harmful electricity. Receiving that electric current is described by children as uncomfortably feeling like a constant “tingling sensation” on their foreheads, according to the FDA press release.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of ADHD diagnoses being up 30 percent in eight years due to the pushing of amphetamine-based drugs by the drug companies and the duplicity of psychiatry and countless pediatricians, plus the political onslaught of NAMI which has lobbied to ensure that every child is evaluated for the bio-genetic psychiatric brain disorders that NAMI so absolutely believes exist.

One in five children have the diagnosis of ADHD in the US now. That’s six million minor children!

The Center for Disease Control issued a national alert when they discovered that over 10,000 toddlers under the age of three had been diagnosed with ADHD and were being prescribed off-label amphetamine-based drugs like Ritalin and Adderal.

I was initially surprised that big pharma didn’t somehow block the development and FDA approval for the home-use Monarch electric device, that I thought would cut into pharma’s ADHD market share monopoly, but Peter Breggin said that this electricity device is aimed at the 20 percent of children who don’t respond to the amphetamine drugs. (However, as he pointed out, “There’s no evidence that any of the kids are helped by the drugs.”)

Finally, the FDA unbelievably reports that “the exact mechanism of eTNS is not yet known.” Yet they still approved it for sale and outrageously claim that it sends “therapeutic signals” to the parts of the brain associated with ADHD.

It’s a serious tragedy in the making that this dangerous device was ever approved for sale by your local child psychiatrist, GP or pediatrician.

Please protest the use of this new device on our children in any way that is available to you.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. This is an outrage!

    Must prosecute, use the international court if needed.

    Safe houses, underground rail roads, public education, teach children how to fight back.

    I’m sure you know about the Transcranial Magnets, used to attack the neural pathways of those labeled with Autism – Aspergers, and the advocacy for this abuse put forth by John Elder Robison and Alex Plank.

    Thanks Michael for letting us know about this. We need to come up with a defense and counter attack strategy.

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  2. “which sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD.”

    “Thought to be” – that is real science for you. Let alone that ADHD is not a thing that any part of the brain can be involved in

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  3. The evil being perpetrated against our children, by the DSM deluded, is staggering … and absolutely disgusting. End the on-going psychiatric holocaust! The psychiatric drugs have already killed more than 6,000,000 Americans. They’re killing 500,000 elderly every year.


    Leave our children, and the elderly, alone! Leave everyone alone, learn to live and let live, DSM deluded. Thanks for highlighting this appalling new psychiatric electrocution “treatment” … for children, Michael.

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  4. This is one of the most frightening articles I’ve read in a vey long time. And the wording is so wishy-washy—-why do people fall for this crap? I was a special education teacher for many years and worked with a lot of students who were on medication before I knew of all the harm. Even then, I would often tell parents that pills would not “fix” the attention issue and that more was needed to help the child process what was going on inside. I believe that schools will change everything but the environment—-and then kids suffer because so many teachers don’t have the knowledge and training to offer appropriate guidance. But electrical current to the brain all night? I am heartsick over this. How did this ever get approved? Oh, yeah, same way Esketamnie did……

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      • Michael, I also wanted to say that schools do a very effective job of scaring parents, and so many teachers just accept the drugs as the way to go. In all the years I worked as a special ed teacher, I never had an in-serivce on the use of amphetamines for managing ADHD, but the drug’s use was very common in all the schools where I worked. Once I read Anatomy of an Epidemic, I became firmly opposed to using the drugs. There are so many better methods to offer to children and families–but it takes more time and more skilled people. Kudos to you for your work.

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        • They will always tell parents that “untreated ADHD” is associated with higher rates of delinquency, school dropout, drug use, lower test scores, lower college enrollment rates, lower self-esteem and so forth. What they DON’T ever tell them is that “treatment” in the form of stimulant drugs has never been shown to improve ANY of these outcomes! It’s a real flim-flam job, though I sometimes think the teachers themselves have mostly been flim-flammed and don’t even really realize what they are saying. It’s like a robot or computerized message, they just all say it because they’re programmed to do so.

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  5. This sounds like a TENS unit, which is a small device fairly commonly used to treat muscle and nerve pain. I have neck and back issues and use them as needed.

    It can cause the nearby muscles to twitch if turned up too high and it can cause skin irritation if used for a long time.

    Most doctors will inform the patient not to use the electrodes on the head, directly over the spine, or directly over the heart. If you do end up putting it on your spine, you’re in for quite the adventure because it can cause stimulation throughout the entire nerve. For example, if I put it right over a major nerve for moving the arm, my entire arm twitches.

    If I had a kid, I’d certainly want more of an explanation than this:

    “The system delivers the low-level electrical stimulation to the branches of the trigeminal nerve, which sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD. While the exact mechanism of eTNS is not yet known, neuroimaging studies have shown that eTNS increases activity in the brain regions that are known to be important in regulating attention, emotion and behavior.”

    This reeks of the whole “throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks” mindset.

    People who prescribe it should have to use it themselves!

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  6. Thanks Dr. Cornwall for speaking out on this. The device will be used on children aged 7 – 12, a time when a young brain is still developing. Sufficient sleep is crucial at this age, how will they get any decent sleep with this thing zapping their forehead. It is appalling the FDA gave approval to electrically traumatize children’s brains when they have no clue what the short or long term damaging effects might be.
    Hopefully parents stand up and protect their children and not cave to yet another barbaric and pseudoscience form of “treatment”.

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  7. Thank you for your painful community service. The thought of attaching electricity machines to children’s foreheads to address emotional suffering or other natural “problem with living” while disrupting needed sleep makes me cry too.

    Anatomy of an Epidemic documents the epidemic of “mental illness” associated with an explosion of psychiatric drug prescriptions but does not focus on childhood statistics. The epidemic of autism for younger children and ADHD for older children is a greater epidemic than the epidemic for the general public. This is an iatrogenic public health crisis of historic proportions that lacks a historical perspective; anyone who grew up in the fifties can inform the community that childhood “mental illness” is a substantially modern invention.

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    • Thank you Steve. Good point about the iatrogenic public health crisis. Going to grade school and beyond in the 50’s seems almost idyllic compared to what it’s become the past 30 years, as social and economic stresses have coincided with the rise of psychiatry and DSM pathologizing of childhood and adult behavior. The enormously successful and sinister business plan of the drug companies to supply drugs to every living creature if possible has brought us here now where this electric brain device is approved by the FDA without a moment’s compunction.

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  8. Why should it surprise us that the FDA has approved this snake oil product to be used on innocent children? The list of things that they’ve approved over the past few months points to the fact that their decisions have nothing to do with the safety and welfare of the American people. They have everything to do with the fact that the FDA entered into an unholy menage a trois by getting into bed with psychiatry and the drug companies. The FDA is now filled with flim flam artists as evidenced by their acceptance of the new “treatment” for postpartum depression and their approval of the esketamine for depression stupidity.

    If one didn’t know better you might think that there is some kind of conspiracy afoot what with this kind of behavior on the part of the FDA. Anyone who believes that the FDA is worried about our safety please get in touch with me so that I can sell you a plot of swampland somewhere in Florida.

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  9. Dr. Cornwall,

    Thank you for raising awareness of this issue. I really appreciate your perspective.

    I spent the last month as a medical student in a child and adolescent psychiatry clinic. I’m all too familiar with those feelings of rage, disgust and utter disbelief at the “practice” of child psychiatry.

    In regards to the “parental support from progressive groups (not NAMI groups),” do you know of any national organizations that I could refer parents to, or more specifically in Texas?

    In regards to

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    • Thank you mwatkins55 for importantly sharing about your eye opening time as a medical student at an adolescent clinic. I wish I knew of a progressive national parent support organization that is an alternative to the ubiquitous NAMI presence. Maybe a reader here will have and share such information. The public system I worked at in the SF Bay Area had some good parent groups that were helpful and not stigmatizing.

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  10. Thanks Michael,
    This is outrageous. Can’t believe approval could be given on such a small sample. The long term effects could be devastating. Does the improvement occur because they are now too zoned out to be restless? They have had nights of shit sleep from constant “mild” zapping. We are told not to sleep with our cellphones on if we want to minimize their effect on our sleep.
    Those poor kids being used as guinea pigs. Dumb down the masses to keep control of society is all it is.

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  11. Well the powers that be already know without a doubt that neuroleptic so called “anti-psychotic” drugs cause permanent brain damage, and as Whitaker and others (Lars Martensson, Elliot Valenstein) have documented, psychiatry has known this since the very beginning, at least in the upper echelons.

    Yet millions of children are forced to take them anyway. Many millions of more throughout time, even back in my generation – early and mid 1990’s. Damaging children’s brains just isn’t a big deal to psychiatry, the FDA, the law and the police and courts that enforce it – the same people that, in most states at least, would arrest and charge a parent for harming a child in some physical, non-permanent way such as a bruise. But brain damage has just become a fact of life, along with all its consequences; permanent involuntary movement disorders, sensation disorders, cognitive problems, emotional problems, behavioral problems, and I’m sure there’s many more.

    But apparently not a big deal because a “doctor” said they were sick and that is that.

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  12. Devices that influence brain activity have been around at least since the 50’s. Since the advent of the computer, scientists have been trying to mimic the brain, with the goal of manipulating, controlling and predicting human behavior. Here’s a link to a video that tries to piece it together:


    in a hierarchical system, it shouldn’t surprise anyone what the ultimate goal is here.

    The drugs used now to subdue people pale in comparison to what is possible with these techniques.

    When PHD Michael Cornwall is “defending” a targeted population it seems to me not quite authentic. He seems to act as an observer and not a participant. Which is not good.

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    • Hi mental, I’ve been active as a human rights activist fighting against the human rights abuses of children and people of all ages inflicted by psychiatry, for over 40 years. To read about my own harrowing lived experience of extreme states, I have an article here on Madinamerica called- “Initiatory Madness.”

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      • Great article, Michael. The approval of devices like these does an end run around an inconvenient truth of neurobiology: The entire idea of functional localization neutoanatomy is highly suspect to begin with, so it would seem impossible to even speculate reasonably about what the outcome would be of simply attaching an electrode to the front of someone’s head. This intervention would appear to be absolute crackpottery of the most brazen and malignant kind.

        This article was from 2002, but I do not think much has changed since then.


        “Current methods of matching different brains
        cannot eliminate differences in functional
        areas across individuals, because the positions
        of these areas are not well predicted by gross
        anatomical landmarks in many regions.”

        I admire your stats as a no-hitter for medication referrals. (I’ve only made one since I’ve been licensed, with a patient who absolutely insisted on it, though I’m hopeful the patient will not fill the prescription. They have not yet.) That is an incredible accomplishment you should be proud of.

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    • I think the problem is that the FDA is loaded with industry insiders who think like Big Pharma and don’t ever question their intentions. And those who do challenge the industry have reportedly felt attacked for speaking up. It may not be direct corruption, but it’s certainly “insider trading,” or as you called it, “Cronyism.”

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    • Hi Rachel and Steve- yes it’s cronyism and rampant big business power over government. The FDA Chief Gottlieb had formerly been a partner at a leading venture capital firm, and the HHS Chief Azar, who oversees the FDA had been a pharmaceutical company executive and lobbyist.
      So much for draining the swamp!

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  13. It is genocide!

    Here are some suggestions for kids who won’t sit still:

    Play outside
    No more video games
    Toss out the television
    Bicycling, basketball, and baseball (okay, fútbol for those of you outside the US)
    Pets, pets, pets!
    Plant a garden
    Go to a park
    Stop assuming and start listening (to the kids, not the shrinks!)
    Toss out the boring school subjects and insist that schools teach something useful and interesting
    End standardized testing
    End ADHD diagnosis
    Healthy food
    Stay away from psychiatry

    And if the kids really want electricity, peek out the window during a thunderstorm and take a stunning photo. See how scary electricity is? Bring your photo to Show and Tell.

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  14. Torturing children with electricity ,how could this be ? and how do you go to war to successfully stop this in light of what has already been tried and has so far failed ? I don’t know . See Cal Montgomery’s article here at MIA March 9 2018 , “Stop the Shocks ; Torture in Massachachusetts. At the end of his article Cal leaves a link for more information http://autistic.net/judge-rotenberg-center . If enough people , it will probably take millions ,don’t organize to at a minimum rollback these oppressions , there will progressively be more chemicals and electricity to more brains and higher voltages all around as necessary to extract the behavior compliance most desired at any given time by the overseers whose main goal at the rulership level must be some kind of eugenic nitemare of mass death and/or turning people into compliant slaves through the progressive application of increased coercion, voltage and /or chemical poisons delivered as “medicine” by the “highly educated doctors of whatever”.In schools, hospitals, Emergency rooms, nursing homes , jails , the offices of the powerful, inside people’s homes, where the only immunity from oppression available anywhere seems to be to become
    some kind of collaborator with the oppressors. I would prefer the freedom to choose resistance , figure out how to best do it , and then to follow through. We must free those caught so severely under the bootheel!

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  15. Dr. Cornwall, thank you for bringing attention to this horrible practice. It is nothing less than ECT for Kids. ECT is effective in Adults, who are suffering from clinical depression, because it causes the elimination of excessive dopamine and associated memories. This eTNS system would be better for them than the traumatic ECT they are now experiencing. Kids that have so-called ADHD have ‘lower than normal dopamine levels. This eTNS system will make their dopamine level even lower. Also, there is the problem of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Any change the polarity of the last molecule in the chemical chain, will turn it into a neurotoxin and cause DA receptor cell death.
    I am concerned that these researchers have not looked into these matters. Chemical stimulation of the brain is one thing, but electrical stimulations is quite another.
    I listened to your conversation with Dr. Breggin and look forward to emailing you after your return June 20th.

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    • ECT is effective in adults because it causes massive brain damage rendering them childish and easy to control. It’s also wonderful because it’s a sort of surgery (destructive) showing that psychiatrists are really honest-to-gosh medical doctors after all.

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  16. This is not “corruption.” This is the essence of psychiatry. And, needless to say, a war crime. It is not something to “protest,” it must be swept away by whatever means necessary, and those responsible prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

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    • ^^^^^ I agree 100% with Oldhead!

      Lets try and work out a slate of objectives and come up with some initial actions. It is not required that people be in complete agreement on all matters.

      What I say though is that it must be agreed that no one in such collective actions will ever be endorsing the concept of Mental Health, or Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, Motivationalism, or Salvation Religion, or also Psych Drugs or Alcohol or Street Drugs.

      But as far as who to do after in actions, that should be focused on examples of the worst.

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  17. We need to establish a slate of objectives. For one thing, shutting down as many Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists as possible would be a very good start.

    I am convinced that most could be closed down by sidewalk pickets, fliers, and a website, to be able to get to their clients directly. And then by strategic lawsuits. Most could be run out of town.

    And then pressure could be put upon governments to eliminate all licensing, and to insist that any such “therapy” done on a child has to be done with court supervision and home well being checks.

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  18. The way people learn is by engaging in principled conflict, like working to shut down as my psychiatrists and psychotherapists as possible, and by fighting to get justice for the survivors, and for the survivors of the middle-class family.

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  19. This is HORRIFYING! And Psychiatry who are still unable to solve an adults ‘pathologies’ are okay with this? Would they use it on their own kids? Everyone with influence is responsible for allowing joseph Mengele to dance in public. Every court, every doctor whether a GP or shrink, therapist, every lawyer, every journalist who is not fighting this nonsense and barbaric scene is guilty. I guess to brainwash stupid teachers and parents is better than kidnapping children for experiments. More and more the insanity of medicine is revealed. And to boot, the insanity of everyone that works with children and is not outraged.

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