Research

Electrical synchronization of brain areas can cure depression

Brain stimulation by electrical impulsesactively used to treat various mental illnesses. Most often, this requires surgical implantation of the electrodes, but the method called transcranial stimulation with alternating current (tACS) does not imply interference. Thanks to him, researchers have already managed to cure auditory hallucinations in schizophrenics and reduce the sensations of back pain in one of the patients. A new study of its kind has shown that technology can also cure deep depression.

Unlike deep brain stimulation (DeepBrain Stimulation), tACS uses softer electrical impulses and synchronizes the activity of different areas of the brain. Researchers have noticed that in patients with deep depression, electrical oscillations of the left frontal area of ​​the brain occur much more actively than the right. To correct the so-called “frontal alpha asymmetry,” the researchers decided to balance the activity of both areas with the help of the very tACS-stimulation.

The experiment was conducted on 32 patients with severeform of depression. They were randomly divided into three groups: a placebo group, a control group with stimulation at a frequency of 40 Hz, and an experimental group with therapy at a frequency of 10 Hz. Each patient underwent a 40-minute stimulation for five days. After a period of treatment, researchers periodically assessed their condition.

To their surprise, 70% of 10 Hertz patientsthe group reported that their depression symptoms had dropped by at least 50%. Members of other groups also talked about improvements, but their results were much lower. According to research leader Flavio Fröhlich, this was the first of its kind research, and they have not yet decided how they will use the results. In any case, they intend to test the method on a larger sample of people, since in the future it can help hundreds of patients to get rid of their serious condition.

It has been proven that exposure to various areasbrain can cause the patient a variety of feelings. For example, in February it became known that during operations, people can specifically cause euphoria, stimulating an area called Cingulum.

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