Electrocurrent Reduces Depression Symptoms

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Electroconvulsive therapy is a rarely used method that has developed quite a stigma over the past few decades. However, an alternative treatment method using an electrical current 1/400th the strength has been found to improve the symptoms of moderate depression when used in combination with the drug zoloft.

As Adriana Barton reported for the Globe and Mail, transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, provide a mild electrical current through a headband worn by patients. The entire treatment takes about half an hour and patients are awake the entire time.

A study conducted in Brazil found tat tDCS works about as well as zoloft alone, but individuals saw the best results when the two methods were combined. The electrical current is said to “enhance brain activity in the frontal cortex”, which aides the affect of zoloft.

Research on tDCS and its uses are still in their infancy and many professionals believe it will not replace current antidepressants or even electroconvulsive therapy. Still, as technology improves and research continues, this non-invasive treatment should be rapidly gaining believers.

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