Researchers test promising tech treatment for youth depression

December 01, 2022

New research shows promising results using neurotechnological approaches to treat depression in youth. The research, led by professor Faranak Farzan from the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports.

A team of researchers investigated the clinical and neurophysiological effects of using brain stimulation followed by cognitive exercise for treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in 26 youth (aged 16 - 24 years old). Over the course of four weeks, they examined the prefrontal cortex of the youth participants by using repeated sessions of theta-burst stimulation (TBS). The team then observed and monitored changes in brain activity using a multimodal brain mapping technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography. 

At the end of the four-week trial, researchers noted significant changes in brain activity at the treatment regions as well as in regions that were not directly stimulated with TBS. Changes in brain activity were also associated with a reduction in depressive and rumination scores.

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