Electrical Stimulation Combined With Zoloft Very Effective At Treating DepressionMain Category: Depression
Article Date: 08 Feb 2013
Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil have compared and assessed the difference between electrical current therapy and treatment with sertraline hydrochloride (one of the most prescribed antidepressants in the U.S.) for those suffering from major depressive disorder.
Depression is a mental disorder that affects a person's ability to function normally. It causes fluctuations in mood and forces the individual into a feeling of severe sadness that can persist for long periods - typically, this interferes with their ability to function normally, and to work. The condition is treatable with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.
The study, published in JAMA, tried to identify the effectiveness of two different treatment options. They found that electric stimulation is extremely effective in helping the initial phase of treatment when combined with the antidepressant.
A total of 120 patients with moderate to severe unipolar major depressive disorder participated in the double-blind trial.
The participants were divided into two groups: one on sertaline/placebo and the other on active/sham transcranial direct current stimulation. The trial lasted for 6 weeks. At the end, the researchers measured the overall change in depressive symptoms using a rating scale score.
Six weeks of daily electrical current therapy scored the same as six weeks on sertaline. However, when electrical current therapy and sertaline were combined, the scores were significantly greater - 8.5 points higher than the antidepressant alone and 5.9 points higher than direct current stimulation alone.
This finding has serious implications for future treatment of early stage major depressive disorder, showing great promise for combined treatment options as opposed to solely using antidepressants.
The authors wrote:
"Cost-effective alternative for regions with low resources where the prevalence of major depressive disorder is high, such as most developing nations. In MDD, the combination of tDCS and sertraline increases the efficacy of each treatment. The efficacy and safety of tDCS and sertraline did not differ,"
Electrical stimulation has been shown to have several benefits:Many studies over the last few years have shown that electrical stimulation can help people with different types of illnesses and conditions:
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