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Depression- New break through treatment under review

Depression and transcranial direct current stimulation

According to the New York Times, there is a new breaking edge treatment for depression which may help alleviate some of the major symptoms of depression. According to several studies, transcranial direct current stimulation or TDCS transmits a mild electric current to stimulate the brain.

The difference between TDCS and more common treatments known as electroshock treatment is TDCS directs a low level charge that is about one-400th of the typical shock treatment. TDCS can also be administered while the patient is conscious, unlike electroshock therapy which is generally done while a patient is sedated.

Medical experts are also excited about the lack of significant side effects of TDSC treatment. Although typical electroshock therapy is considered very affective, it can cause memory loss and can be difficult and expensive to administer. TDSC is inexpensive and can be administered to people who have not had success with traditional depression treatments such as medication.

Some psychiatrist suggest that TDCS can be a good solution to try before doing something more severe with harmful side effects such as electric shock treatment. Recent studies have also shown that TDCS can be administered with low doses of depression medication such as Zoloft, with may provide better results than medication alone. Experts have concluded, however, that more research is needed to determine the effects of simultaneous TDCS and drug medication use.

Research has been initiated in both the U.S. and in Australia, and medical researchers expect that more information will be gathered for the use of TDCS and depression medication. Although this treatment option may be new to some, transcranial direct current stimulation was developed decades ago. Researchers, however, have just started seriously studying it as a depressive treatment.

How does Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation work?

To perform Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation the doctor will place two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, on the temples of the patient. The electric current, which is sent through the electrodes, stimulates the nerve cells in the brain allowing for better communication with each other. The stimulation is so minor that the nerves don’t “fire off messages.”

After the stimulation patients report that they have had improved cognitive effects and enhanced thinking. Scientist also claim the treatment, if repeated over a number of weeks, seems to provide a cumulative effect. The treatment is hailed a portable, noninvasive and cheap option for many depressed patients who are not suicidal and have not responded to normal treatment options.

TDCS should not be used to treat seizures, but it is federally approved for depression. Although some scientists believe this treatment may one day be available for home use, for now it should only be done under the care of a qualified doctor. There are specific requirements for electrode placement and current amount that needs to be monitored by a qualified professional.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer for Depression

If you have severe depression and you are not able to perform work you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Talk to a disability lawyer if you have questions.
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