Depression

Science shows that the cause of depression is linked to the frontal cortex (the frontal lobe or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)), where there is a disruption in communication between the DLPFC and the deeper anterior cingulate (AC). Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) focuses specifically on this small area (DLPFC). The communication between these two structures can be improved with repeated stimulation of this area, thereby decreasing depressive symptoms for up to 6-12 months. A noticeable effect is usually achieved within 10 to 12 sessions of rTMS.

Due to the cyclical course of depression, patients may not need any more sessions after this treatment period. If complaints return, however, our therapists may recommend additional treatment sessions to achieve an ongoing anti-depressant effect.

Usually 78% of the people respond well to rTMS treatment and there are almost no adverse effects. The FDA in the U.S.A. considers rTMS as a safe therapy. One of the major benefits of treating depression with rTMS is that our patients have reduced or eliminated their dependency on antidepressant medication post treatment. This success rate has been achieved by combining neuromodulation techniques with psychotherapy.

By comparison, more than 40% of patients with depression do not respond to antidepressant medications such as Paxil (paroxetine), Effexor (Venlafaxine), Cipramil (Citalopram), Remeron (Mirtazapine) or Doxepin). Antidepressants are often prescribed for depression since the impact and results of antidepressants are known.

 

Depression was one of the earliest clinical applications of Neurofeedback.

According to the 2005 paper Hammond, D. Corydon. “Neurofeedback treatment of depression and anxiety.” Journal of Adult Development 12.2-3 (2005): 131-137, Neurofeedback training can help 80% of people with Depression, especially those who have the biological predispositions for Depression. The effects on Depression with Neurofeedback are long-term unlike that of medications which can produce temporary remission.

In April 2013, the John Hopkins Hospital, ranked #2 in the USA, embraced Neurofeedback, writing: “Here’s good news for people struggling with depression. People with depression who are taught a neurofeedback technique that allows them to activate parts of the brain involved in generating positive emotions may be able to lower their depressive symptoms.”

The NeuroDevelopment Centre in the USA describes two stories of treatment with Neurofeedback for John and Mary who suffered from Depression.

Mary had remarkable results after 20 sessions. Now she can live with a positive mood and with very little anxiety.

John after 20 sessions had stopped all three medications for Depression. Neurofeedback training helped him and now he shows minimal signs of Depression and anxiety. He visits the NeuroDevelopment Centre periodically to maintain his well-being.

Neurofeedback is able to make a change to the source of these symptoms within the brain/central nervous system.

During Neurofeedback we will train and stabilise your depressed mood and other symptoms which may reflect that you suffer from Depression. Most clients feel the difference after 3-6 sessions.

Neurofeedback training for Depression is very promising because it can not only relieve the symptoms of Depression but can also modify the biological predisposition for becoming depressed. It may reverse the frontal brainwave asymmetry the predisposes you to depression and help you regain control of your life.

With successful results you will not need medication any more. Training often requires about 20 to 25 sessions.

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive, well-tolerated treatment method. Two electrodes (anode and cathode) are placed on defined areas of the head, applying a weak direct current through the skull and generating an electrical field in the stimulated areas of the brain. tDCS directly affects the membrane potential. Depending on the duration, used current and current density, the stimulation either inhibits or activates cortical activity by increasing or decreasing the likelihood of neurons firing. Studies have demonstrated promising therapeutic effects for major depressive disorder without drug resistance. Imaging studies show an asymmetrical activity of the neuron populations in the prefrontal cortex of patients
with depression. In the left hemisphere (in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, DLPFC) the neuronal activity is reduced. Anodal tDCS over the left DLPFC can enhance neuronal excitability in this area. An anti-depressive effect has been observed in several studies after 10 – 15 sessions
The evidence for tDCS in depression was rated with Level B – probably effective (excludes drug-resistant depression)