This news will surely be a good one for people fighting hard with depression. What if I tell you that a gadget has been unveiled that zaps an electric current into ears, which could actually help patients with depression. It might sound a bit hard to believe, but new study reveals a gadget that can stimulate the brain when anti-depressants don’t work.
A Device To Zap Off Depression, here are all questions answered
1. How does it work?
This gadget can be used easily at home. It simply works by transmitting very mild currents through clips fixed to skin on the ears of the patent suffering from depression. These mild currents help to stimulate a nerve which is connected to that area of the brain which regulates mood.
2. How long this gadget needs to be used?
According to research, the device should be used for an hour a day. The regular use of this device can help patients who have not responded to the anti-depressant drugs.
3. Will the current cause discomfort?
The current which will be generated from this gadget is too low to cause any discomfort. But it is enough to stimulate the tiny branches of the vagus nerve found in the auricular concha.
4. Is the device tested?
According to experts at the China Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, 49 patients suffering from mild to moderate depression were studies. These depression patients were taken off their anti-depressants drugs for two weeks before the test, so as not to skew the results. After that they were given a hand-held device to send a mild current through clips attached to both ears, at least twice for one month. According to the results of this study, zapping the vagus nerve significantly reduced patients’ scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale. (this is a system used by psychiatrists to measure the severity of a patient’s depression).
According to the researchers, this type of vagus nerve stimulation can significantly reduce the severity of depression in patients.
Danny Smith a Psychiatrist of the Glasgow University said – “This looks potentially promising. It’s non-invasive and could benefit large numbers of people. But this is a small trial and more research will be needed.”