Therapies that are known as neuromodulation are one group of depression treatments that show great promise.
Basically neuromodulation involves trying to change brain cell activity by applying electricity selectively and in specific patterns.
Some neuromodulation treatments have already been approved by the FDA and are already fairly widely used to treat depression. These include repetitive magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Other treatments are still in development.
Sometimes the neuromodulation devices used for treatment are placed externally on the body. In other cases, a device may need to be surgically implanted in the body.
These neuromodulation treatments are not an instant fix, however. It’s not the electrical stimulation that helps ease depression. It’s the changes the stimulation causes in brain cells that helps.
Up next, ketamine.