Neurofeedback For Drug Resistant Depression
A small pilot study has indicated that neurofeedback - where patients concentrate on modifying their own brainwave patterns - has potential to treat many of the 100m people worldwide who suffer from Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). This is the first time that neurofeedback has been shown to improve both individual symptoms and overall recovery in TRD.
According to the World Health Organization*, “Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide”, with over 300 million people suffering globally. There are treatments for depression, but up to a third of people don't respond to treatment, even after trying different antidepressants. This is Treatment-resistant depression (TRD). For these patients, there are limited options.
A small pilot study from Korea in 2016 indicated that neurofeedback may be offer a viable treatment to patients suffering from treatment resistant depression. The researchers found that in the neurofeedback group, 67% responded to treatment, and 42% of the entire test group responded well enough to be classified as being in remission. Most of these patients are now under long-term observation to see if remission has continued.
Project leader, Professor Eun-Jin Cheon said:
“Neurofeedback has been trialed with psychological conditions in the past, but as far as we know this is the first time that anyone has succeeded in achieving remission and overall recovery (functional recovery)with treatment-resistant depression. This is particularly important, because this is an otherwise untreatable group of patients. In our study we included patients with major depressive disorder, who still had residual symptoms and functional impairment despite receiving antidepressant treatment. Our results suggested that neurofeedback might be an effective complementary treatment to make patients feel well again and successfully engage with life. The most promising thing about neurofeedback is it doesn't cause even mild side effects.”
When you add this to the ever growing list of successful research studies on neurofeedback and depression, it makes a strong case for neurofeedback as a first approach treatment option for all types of depression.
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Posted In: Neurofeedback