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Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study
Date:2/6/2013

epression. "The safety profile is excellent," said Dr. Colleen Loo, a professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Australia. "It is a very mild form of brain stimulation, no risk of seizures, does not impair thinking and may in fact improve thinking," she said.

Currently, tDCS is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat any condition, Lisanby said.

However, another noninvasive, brain-stimulating technique is FDA-approved and clinically available, she said. That technique -- called transcranial magnetic stimulation (tMS) -- uses a magnetic field to induce electrical changes within the brain.

Other potential treatments for depression that are undergoing testing include vagus nerve stimulation (this is the nerve running from the brain to deep in the belly) and deep brain stimulation, she said.

More information

For more information on depression, visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCES: Andre Russowsky Brunoni, M.D., Ph.D., Center for Clinical Research, University Hospital, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Sarah Hollingsworth Lisanby, M.D., Lawrence C. Katz Professor and Chair, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Colleen Loo, M.D., professor, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia; Feb. 6, 2013, JAMA Psychiatry, online


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