Non-invasive treatment for depression and bipolar disorder investigated at Black Dog Institute

depression mental healthA new, non-invasive non-medication treatment for depression including bipolar disorder is now being trialled at the Black Dog Institute, University of NSW in Sydney.

The Sydney Neurostimulation Centre led by Professor Colleen Loo is investigating whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could be a treatment for depression and a potential alternative to medication and electroconvulsive therapy.

TDCS is a very mild form of brain stimulation. The stimulation is painless and is given when a person is fully awake and alert with the stimulation session lasting 30 minutes.

It is thought that tDCS works by modifying and correcting brain activity levels, e.g., increase brain activation in areas that are underactive or reduce brain activation in areas that are overactive.

The effects of tDCS on mood have been reported since the 1960’s and 70’s.

Recently, a large research trial in Sydney at the Black Dog Institute, which compared tDCS with a placebo, provided further evidence that it has antidepressant effects.

You might be eligible for this new clinical trial if you are:

  • aged over 18 and have been experiencing feelings of depression for at least 4 weeks prior to the study, and
  • able to commit to the trial for at least 4 weeks with the option of additional further treatment, attending usually for 40 minutes every weekday.
  • can attend the Black Dog Institute in Randwick for 1 hour every weekday for 4 weeks with the option of additional further treatment

Please note there may be a number of other medical conditions that may mean you are not eligible. Please discuss with the clinical trial medical staff.  

This research study has been approved by the relevant Government health authorities, and medical Ethics Committees.

For more information contact the study coordinator at the Black Dog Institute click here.

The 17th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the brand new Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, QLD from the 11 -12 August 2016.

You are invited to join us as we address the conference theme “Guiding the Change” across the broad spectrum of mental disorders. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

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