Brain stimulation by electrical impulses is actively used for the treatment of various mental diseases. Most often, this requires surgical implantation of electrodes, but the method, which is called transcranial AC stimulation (tACS), does not involve intervention. Thanks to him, researchers have been able to cure auditory hallucinations in schizophrenics and reduce the sensation of lower back pain in one of the patients. A new study of its kind has shown that technology is also able to cure deep depression.
Electrical stimulation of the brain
Unlike deep brain stimulation (Deep Brain Stimulation), tACS involves softer electrical impulses and synchronizes the activity of different areas of the brain. Researchers have observed that in patients with deep depression, the 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 same tACS-stimulation.
The experiment was conducted in 32 patients with severe depression. They were randomly divided into three groups: a placebo group, a control group with stimulation at 40 Hz, and an experimental group with therapy at 10 Hz. Each patient underwent a 40-minute stimulation for five days. After a period of treatment, the researchers periodically assessed their condition.
To their surprise, 70% of patients from the 10-gercevoj group reported that their depression symptoms decreased by at least 50%. Other groups also talked about improvements, but the results were much lower. According to the head of the study, Flavio frelich, it was the first of its kind, and they have not yet decided how to use the results. In any case, they intend to test the method on a larger sample of people, as in the future it can help hundreds of patients to get rid of their serious condition.
It is proved that the impact on different areas of the brain can cause different feelings in the patient. For example, in February it became known that during operations, people can specifically cause euphoria, stimulating an area called Cingulum.