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September 8, 2010

Researchers Use Electrical Stimulation to Treat Depression

Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles in the US have developed a technique known as trigeminal nerve stimulation, which applies electrical stimulation to a major nerve originating from the brain to treat depression. The device that delivers the stimulation is the size of a

By cms admin

Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles in the US have developed a technique known as trigeminal nerve stimulation, which applies electrical stimulation to a major nerve originating from the brain to treat depression.

The device that delivers the stimulation is the size of a large cell phone. Two wires are passed under the clothing and attached to electrodes, which are fixed to the forehead by an adhesive.

The electrodes transmit electric current to the trigeminal nerve, which produces a cascading sequence of events in the neuronal infrastructure.

In a clinical trial, the patients experienced a 70% reduction in depression symptoms in an eight-week period.

About 80% of the subjects achieved remission without experiencing any major side affects.

A larger, double-blind clinical trial of trigeminal nerve stimulation for epilepsy is currently in progress at University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.

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