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How Electroencephalography (EEG) Can Help Treat Depression - Research, Quality Of Life
How Electroencephalography (EEG) Can Help Treat Depression - Research, Quality Of Life

Video: How Electroencephalography (EEG) Can Help Treat Depression - Research, Quality Of Life

Video: How Electroencephalography (EEG) Can Help Treat Depression - Research, Quality Of Life
Video: Sleep/EEG as a biomarker in depression, Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer (University of Surrey, UK) 2023, June

Depression is now the most common mental disorder. Traumatic situations, long-term stress, drug abuse with mental activity, organic disorders can lead to this condition. Even the lack of sunlight can lead to depression (seasonal depression). I want to tell you about recent research that will help treat depression

Depression is manifested by a permanent decrease in mood and general tone, physical inhibition, and intellectual disorder. An affective disorder such as depression can worsen the course of other disorders and lead to irreversible consequences.

The problem is that some of the patients do not go to the doctor due to various circumstances. Including because of the condemnation in his environment: "stop fooling around", "pull yourself together", "pull yourself together, rag", "all the depression from idleness." As a result, treatment is prescribed when the patient is in the developmental stage of secondary disorders.

Depression Biochemically

On a chemical level, depression is a whole molecular bouquet. This is an acute shortage of serotonin, dopamines and endorphins with a simultaneous excess of melatonin, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Due to the lack of neurotransmitters that are responsible for transmitting the right signals to the brain, the necessary hormones are not "read". The body goes into a state of "saving". It is possible to correct molecular damage with drugs of the group of sedative inhibitors, which have been used since the middle of the twentieth century.

The problem is that it is difficult to assess the side effects of depression treatment and the additional symptoms. There are many drugs in the group of sedative inhibitors and it is always difficult to find the right one. Even in clinical trials, the effectiveness has not shown itself to be high, and in some cases it was not higher than the placebo effect. The drug may simply not work.

The way out of this situation is to know in advance whether there will be an effect from one or another drug therapy. To do this, you need to study the options for the effect of the drug on the brain. American scientists have developed a scheme that predicts the effect in the treatment of depression with antidepressants (specifically, sertraline) based on the activity of the brain at rest.

The essence of the experiment

For this purpose, 309 patients with certain levels of depressive disorder were tested using electroencephalography (EEG). The subjects were divided into 2 groups, one of which received an antidepressant, and the other a placebo. EEG indicators of brain activity were recorded before and after the end of the course. During the study, the specialists developed a computer program, which included an algorithm for determining the effectiveness of a drug.

Using the created regression model, the obtained algorithm made it possible to identify the relationship between the effectiveness of treatment and brain activity at rest. The group who received antidepressant therapy showed resting activity in the alpha range, one of the 4 main ranges associated with the effectiveness of therapy. In the placebo group, the effect was undetectable.

For the purity of the experiment, about 100 more patients were tested using an independent sample. Again, the EEG predicted the potential efficacy of sertraline for treating depression.

What does this scientific discovery mean for depression sufferers?

First, a simple and accessible analysis of the possible effectiveness of drug therapy has been developed - based on EEG.

Secondly, a separate neural mechanism was additionally studied - the activity of the brain in the alpha range at rest. This allows other treatments for depression to be successfully evaluated.

Most importantly, the EEG can also successfully assess the effectiveness of psychotherapy in treating depression. Moreover, it is quite possible to predict which will be more effective - psychotherapy or drug treatment.

Adapted from and

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