Electrical stimulation of one of the main nerves going into the brain could be an alternative to antidepressants for people suffering from major depression. Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles used a stimulator about the size of a large mobile phone to send an electric charge to the trigeminal nerve via electrodes on people's foreheads. The participants in the trial used the device for around eight hours each night while they were asleep. The participants achieved an average of a 70% reduction in symptom severity over the eight weeks of the study and 80% of them achieved remission. This compares to a 30% recovery rate among people taking drugs which can also have side effects such as obesity, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, drowsiness and nausea.
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