A new study has found brain zapping, which is essentially stimulating the brain, could help treat people suffering from depression.
This treatment can be especially effective for those with treatment-resistant depression.
The study was conducted on 16 patients by researchers from the University of Freiburg and University Hospital Bonn in Germany. To help stimulate apart of the brain which is linked to the reward system, the team used thin electrodes on the participants. The results showed the severity of depression in these patients reduced drastically. For some, it was reduced even lower than the level regarded as being depressed.
"Our patients had struggled with severe depression for years with no signs of improvement," Thomas Schlapfer, from the University of Freiburg, told a news portal. Adding, "Deep brain stimulation brought most of them significant relief within days, which lasted throughout the course of the therapy. Other forms of treatment like medication and psychotherapy often lose their effectiveness over the course of time."
Researchers are hopeful better long-lasting treatment options can soon be available for people suffering from the mental health condition.
"The most compelling outcome from the study is the sustained efficacy in very severely ill patients," Schlapfer revealed.
"Most treatments in psychiatry cease to be efficacious after months and years, we demonstrated for the first time in demonstrating in a relatively large-scale study that deep brain stimulation is a real option for those patients suffering from treatment-resistant, severe depression," he went on to explain.
The study's findings were originally published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.