Neuromodulation involves technologies that apply electrical or magnetic energy to the brain in order to alter transmission between brain cells.
Recent research has shown that these noninvasive methods provide therapeutic benefits comparable to antidepressant medicines.
One of the newest treatments for major depressive disorder is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which uses magnets placed on the scalp to induce small electrical currents in certain areas of the frontal lobe that control mood.
Almost 60 percent of patients receiving 30 sessions of rTMS experienced a positive response, and nearly 40 percent had a remission.
The FDA has already approved this technology for treatment of certain forms of depression.
Other neuromodulation methods are currently under study, including transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which uses constant, low current electricity delivered to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp.
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