New research has mapped how an individual’s brain changes as they undergo treatment for depression. The study, which was carried out by scientists from the University of British Columbia, was focused on finding out what happened in the brain when a person underwent repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. This noninvasive treatment uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in an individual’s dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain is involved in mood regulation.
This particular treatment is usually administered when other treatment strategies, such as drugs, haven’t effectively helped a patient manage their depression. Various studies have found that antidepressants don’t work effectively in at least 40% of individuals with severe depression.
To administer this particular treatment, doctors press a device with an electromagnetic coil onto a patient’s scalp during the session. Here, a magnetic pulse that is delivered by the device stimulates nerve cells in the brain, helping improve symptoms of depression.
While the treatment is known to be effective, little is known about the mechanism behind its effects on the brain. To learn more about how the treatment worked in the brain, researchers at the institution, led by Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez, delivered one round of the treatment to patients with depression while they were inside an MRI scanner. This allowed the scientists to observe the changes that occurred in the brain in real time.
The research also helped the scientists discover that stimulating the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex led to the stimulation of other regions of the brain that were involved in a range of functions, including motor control, memory control and the management of emotional responses.
In addition, the scientists administered the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment to patients for a month in an effort to assess if these activated regions were linked to patients experiencing fewer depression symptoms when their treatment ceased.
In their report, the researchers stated that they discovered that the regions activated in the brain during the treatment were associated with good outcomes. Vila-Rodriguez hopes that the study’s findings could be used to determine how well an individual was responding to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment.
The scientists are currently focused on exploring how this particular treatment can be used in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
The study was a collaborative effort across the Center for Brain Health and UBC’s MRI Research Center. The researchers reported their findings in the “American Journal of Psychiatry.”
As the breakthrough in understanding how a human brain changes while treatment for depression is being administered using this stimulation device becomes more evident, other companies, such as Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO), are also making headway in developing new medicines targeting indications such as PTSD, Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia. These drugs are expected to offer a better safety profile and higher efficacy levels.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO
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