Electric anti-depressant headphones are revealed
Health
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1 months ago
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A trial carried out by Northamptonshire NHS Foundations Trust found that brain-stimulating headphones can treat symptoms of depression.

Electric headphones to treat depression have been recommended as a more widespread treatment for depression after a successful NHS trial. But the long-term benefits of the device are still unknown.

An NHS trial has found these innovative electric headphones for treating depression to be an effective way to reduce symptoms and has recommended their wider use within the health service.

The headphones from Flow Neuroscience were given to depressed patients by their GP to wear for 30 minutes a day for a period of six weeks as a non-invasive way of managing the condition.

The study found it to be an "effective treatment for depression," using a brain stimulation technique known as transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS.

The device delivers a weak electrical current directly to the front of the brain to stimulate the areas responsible for emotional expression.

The research found that over 58% of people saw improvements within six weeks and one in three were already free of depression symptoms.

Flow Neuroscience says it is "the first and only medically approved home treatment for depression" and can be used alongside other therapies such as talk therapy or medication.

It was tested on patients by Northamptonshire NHS Foundations Trust but can also be bought privately. One of the patients is James Maynard, who struggled with depression before using the headphones.

One of the NHS trial leaders, Azhar Zafar, told Sky News that patients report needing to use less medicine as a result of the device.

"This treatment method is an additional treatment," he said.

However, it is not yet known what the long-term benefits of the device are in depression of the last six weeks.

Anita Raja told Sky News that "when it comes to mental health, one of the most important things is to understand if the patient can go back to their previous state after the treatment is stopped".

She says the device is promising, but she wants to know "what happens when the patient stops using the device—does he get depressed again?"

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