University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is taking part in a clinical trial that may one day provide a drug free treatment option for people suffering with depression. Dr. Bill Burke is a professor of Psychiatry and says this clinical trial involves the use of a non-invasive medical device.
Dr. Burke says the devise is called the NEST or NeoSync EEG-Synchronized TMS. The NEST uses low energy magnetic stimulation so there are no real side effects. The patient lies on a table and the unit is lowered over the forehead. The treatment lasts for 30 minutes. He says there are no side effects and the patient can leave immediately afterwards.
Dr. Burke says research shows that a patient’s brain waves can be tuned and restored to normal rhythms and that could eliminate the symptoms of depression. He says oscillators in the front part of the brain do not function properly in people who are depressed. They can see less blood flow to that area. He says the idea is through this magnetic stimulation, oscillators are reset to their normal pattern.
UNMC’s clinical trial will enroll ten patients who have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder and have failed to respond to medication. Volunteers must be between the ages of 22 and 65 and be able to participate in five treatments per week for six weeks. For more information, log onto UNMC clinical trails website at unmc.edu/clinicaltrials.