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Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) May Improve Symptoms of Major Depression


There is a new method oftreating major depressive disorder that might be discussed at your nextdoctor's visit: Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation. 

Trigeminal nerve stimulation is a procedure that involves the attachment of electrodes to a patient's forehead which transmit electrical stimulation to the trigeminal nerve, which extends from the brainout into the muscles and skin of the face. The purpose of this stimulation is to induce a "rapid and robust change in blood flow in limbic and frontal regions of the brain and a decrease in activity in other areas of the brain that we think are important for seizure suppression", says Ian A.Cook, MD, from NeuroSigma, Inc, and the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Dr. Cook says that they started looking at TNS as a treatment option in drug induced epilepsy, but thinks it could have measurable impact in mental illnesses such as PTSD, ADHD, and depression. 

The results speak forthemselves : Patients receiving active stimulation had significantly greater symptom reduction at week 6 compared to patients in the control group. (Medscape).

What do we think about nerve stimulation here at Medical Research Group? Our head psychiatrist Dr. Thebaud thinks it’s a good idea. “[nerve stimulation techniques] are evolving a lot now because they are becoming more sophisticated” he says. "Scientists are singling out more nerves, like the vagal and trigeminal nerves [which are areas associated with mental illnesses]. Nerve stimulation techniques can now target specific areas of the brain instead of the whole brain... [that] are generally safer now than psychopharmacological therapy.. We'll need to do more testing, but we can see that that's the way of the future. That's the way medicine will be oriented toward.”

We definitely agree with Dr. Thebaud’s thoughts. At Medical Research Group of Central Florida, we are always looking for safe, effective, and cutting edge methods of treating those dealing with mental illnesses. Every effort possible is made to advance novel treatment methods for those fighting daily battles against depression and all mental illnesses. If you have any thoughts or questions for you or a loved one, contact us today.

  • Adly F. Thebaud Jr, Student

The full article can be found here.

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