Electric Current Therapy for Depression – Minimally Invasive Approach

Depression is a common problem faced by individuals that can have very negative impacts upon a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and can seriously lower quality of life.Electric-Current-Therapy-for-Depression

Depression(Signs Of Depression) is characterized by feelings of anxiety, sadness, irritability, emptiness, feelings of low self worth, difficulty concentrating and remembering and even physical problems such as weight loss, disturbed sleep etc.

Though giving electric shocks to patients with psychological difficulties may seem a distinctly Dickensian sort of therapy;

a seemingly cruel and outdated approach, in recent times, the possibility of using electrical current therapy to treat depression is being seen as effective.

Anti depressant drugs are routinely prescribed as treatment for depression or what is known as any MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), however there are several issues with this approach – firstly there is the issue of safety – the possible side effects of taking these drugs over a longer duration have to be considered.

Secondly there is the fact that some individuals tolerate these drugs poorly and so may not be suitable candidates for this.

Further the drugs may not be uniformly effective for everyone and some people may not respond as well to them. There is also the fact that taking these drugs can be an expensive proposition.

For these and other reasons, clinicians have examined the possibility of using non-invasive brain stimulation to counter depression by stimulating the cortical activity of the brain using non-invasive methods. Among the methods examined it was found that the safe and affordable option was that of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation or tDCS.

A recent trial conducted at the Black Dog Institute and the University of New South Wales in Sydney also found that using electric current therapy for depression yielded promising results. In the trial, researchers examined the effect of delivering mild electric currents, which could barely be felt, to the scalp of those suffering from depression.

It was found that half to those who participated in the trial showed very significant improvements of their depressive symptoms.

According to the researchers involved in the trial, what was heartening about this trial is the fact that improvement was seen even in those individuals who were not able to benefit from or respond to other treatments such as anti depression drugs. Also no significant side effects of the procedure were noted.

In the trail, almost imperceptible electrical currents were applied to the frontal parts of the brain to people who were awake and alert. This therapy works by triggering the neurons in the brain to enhance their response.