We’ve told you before about biohackers strapping stim-pads to their scalps to either speed up or chill-out and how Thync is formalizing that space with smartphones and science.
Well, another set of researchers is doing something similar to get serious about depression, by way of a happy-accident.
Back in 2001, Michael Rohan was doing research on how bipolar patients responded to a certain medication at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.
His scanning equipment, similar to an MRI, produced a strange result. After each person went through their scan, they came out the other end of the rig saying they felt noticeably better.
After this happened for the umpteenth time, Michael and his lab-assistant started asking questions, and not about the awesomeness of the drugs or the placebo-effect.
And the answers he found just might change the future of treating depression.
The tech, called LFMS, or Low Field Magnetic Stimulation is unlike the messy DBS devices people have been implanted with, the scary Electro-Convulsive Therapy jolts of Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar, or even the wild DIY scalp-zappers who inspired Thync.
It uses a set of electro-magnetic coils about the size of an iron that are passed near the scalp without banging into it ala The 3 Stooges, and about 20 minutes later… VOILA!, you feel better!
-Which is one of the most interesting facets of the tech. Immediacy.
Even the best drugs we have to combat depression take Weeks to build up in the body. With this, you’re feeling better after your first visit.
And even better than that, the electric currents used are smaller than all the other devices mentioned, including the tDCS of Thync, so there is the possibility that the safety-prospects might be better, too.
-Although the jury’s technically still out for now, the first 63 study participants showed zero side-effects and better results than the existing TMS units doctors already have.
So far, the trials look great, and as said before, the device is hand-held instead of being Volkswagen-sized like an MRI, so you can still carry it around even if you aren’t Bruce Banner.
-And the best part? A new company called Tal Medical that just received another $14M in venture funding, is licensing Rohan’s technology to make sure it’s safe and then put the devices into widescale production.
Soon, serious depression-sufferers, or even normal people with a spot of the blues might just pop down to the local doc or car+brain-wash for a quick attitude-adjustment, Moe Howard brain-mallet not required!
Check out the details at the Links:
JUMP BONUS!: Nova Video on TMS
JUMP BONUS 2!: “Spook Louder”, by The Three Stooges
Magnetic Mind Control, by Nova Science Now
“Spook Louder” video and Screenshot, by Del Lord, Hugh McCollum, Clyde Bruckman, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, and Columbia Pictures
• Source: Harvard Gazette
• via: BetaBoston
• More Coverage: Nova-Magnetic Mind Control | Elsevier-LFMS Effective for Depression | Harvard Magazine | Reddit Comments
• Source Study: BioPsych-Rapid Mood-Elevating Effects of Low Field Magnetic Stimulation in Depression