zapping depression … neurogenesis … brain caps ….
Deep brain stimulation, first trialed in 2005 at Emory University …. 4 of 6 subjects after six months report substantial decrease in depression symptoms ….
He who would travel happily must travel light.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry
“Come lift me up where I belong….”
Cranial Electro Stimulation
C.E.S.– SAFE EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO DRUGS IN THE TREATMENT OF ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND INSOMNIA
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is an FDA approved treatment for anxiety, depression and insomnia. Over 100 human and eighteen animal studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CES in treating these and other disorders. CES involves the introduction of a very weak electrical current into the brain. Before you say, “No way! Not my brain!” understand CES is not “Shock therapy”. The electrical current used in CES is typically less than one milliampere. To put this in perspective, the current needed to power a light bulb is about 11,000 times stronger. No serious side effects have been reported with CES. Link
a big piece of fluff
“antidepressant discontinuation syndrome” … drug companies continue to claim ‘anecdotal’ reports of severe side effects resulting from discontinuation of SSRIs and other antidepressants are actually only experienced by 2 out of 100 individuals!!!
While different SSRIs work similarly, by adjusting the amount of serotonin in the brain, they each have a varying half-life, which is the amount of time the drug stays in the body. The SSRIs with shorter half-lives, such as Paxil, wash out of the body most quickly, which can cause a jolt to the nervous system. In contrast, withdrawal effects may be less disruptive with Prozac, which has a longer half-life and remains in the system longer.
“Prozac is less likely to cause acute withdrawal,” says Dr. Robert Hedaya, psychopharmacologist and author of The Antidepressant Survival Guide. “Withdrawal symptoms take longer to hit, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience them in four or five weeks.”
Compounding the problem, some experts say, is that many patients who go off the drug mistake withdrawal symptoms for a return of the original symptoms they were using the drug to treat. It is then very conmon for patients to restart the medication.
brainwave therapy: meditation, sound therapy
New weapons against depression: magnetic caps
Now scientists at Boston’s Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital are experimenting with a new weapon, a new hope in the battle against depression. It’s called “transcranial magnetic stimulation,” in which bursts of magnetic waves are passed through the brain.
According to Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a leading researcher on magnetic stimulation, when the scientists passed magnetic waves through the left frontal part of the brain, they activated the nerve cells there and connections in other areas deep into the brain, which had antidepressant effects.
“I tried it myself, using magnets to activate the nerve cells in my arm,” he adds. “It caused a tingling sensation, but no pain.”
“Contrary to electro-convulsive therapy, to electro shock,” he notes, “we do not need anesthesia and we don’t induce seizures.”
Studies so far have shown relatively few side effects, but it may be too early to gauge whether there may be long-term risks.
… brain scans and clinical tests confirm that among severely depressed patients for whom nothing else worked, 60 percent improved with magnetic stimulation. And the benefits last several months before the technique needs to be repeated.
Alpha-theta brainwave neurofeedback training: An effective treatment for male and female alcoholics with depressive symptoms link
Electrical stimulation – no side effects…. tiny currents activate electrical output of the brain and increase the body’s serotonin and beta endorphin levels. See video on Alpha Stim … not covered by insurance …
exercise and depression
someday I will, I will transcend depression …. & my mind will once again be my own & poetry will flow like it once did, so quick through my brain, faster than thoughts, images of words mutating into art, effortlessly… someday, me and my self, we’ll be together, again…
A study done at Duke University in North Carolina took 156 depressed adults and assigned to one group four months of exercise training including cycling, walking, jogging, one group received antidepressant medication and the third group combined exercise and medication. After four months, all three groups showed significant and similar reductions in depressive symptoms. The conclusion drawn was that exercise is beneficial therapy for people suffering from depressive symptoms. Even more interesting, however, was the conclusion drawn from the follow-up study done six months later. Participants in the exercise group had lower rates of depression (30%) than those in the medicated group (52%) and those in the combination group (55%). Researchers found that 2/3 of the exercise group and 2/3 of the combination group remained active. 40% of the combination group and 26% of the medication group continued to take medication while only 7% of the exercise group used medication during the 6 month follow-up period. Furthermore, at the 10 month follow-up study, researchers deemed the people in the exercise group were more likely than those in the other two groups to be considered partially or fully recovered and only 8% of the exercise group had relapsed compared to over 30% of each of the other two groups. The conclusion drawn was that even a modest exercise program of 30 minutes a day, three days a week is an effective weapon for combating depression and may be at least as effective as antidepressants. Also, the benefits of such a program are likely to endure for individuals who adopt exercise as a regular, ongoing life activity. Link
hippocampus and memory
“The brain area known as the hippocampus is the one area where everyone agrees new neurons are born in the adult. The hippocampus is crucial for the for the conversion of certain short-term, scratch pad, memories into permanent form. Animal experiments have shown that the production of new neurons in the hippocampus is stimulated by enriched environments and by learning experiences. But do these new cells function normally? Do they support learning? And do these new neurons survive? Some animal observations indicate that new neurons in the hippocampus only live about one month.”
harvesting new brain cells…
“An answer has come from some recent animal experiments that examined the role of new neurons in adults in learning of a water maze and the effect of the maze learning on survival of these new cells. The water maze involved training rats to find a submerged safe platform in a tub of water made opaque so that the platform could not be seen. Training was performed under one of two conditions: 1) location of the platform was cued by an overhead black and white striped rod, or 2) location was indicated by the spatial relationship of the platform to objects outside the tub, such as objects on the room walls, that could be seen by the rat.”
“Half of the time I’m gone, and I don’t know, I don’t know why …… ”