Category Archives: Depression

CES Ultra is a non-drug approach to treatment of depression

Vagus Nerve Stimulation And Inflammation

Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Conceptual Representation
Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Conceptual Representation

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a medical treatment that is routinely used in the treatment of epilepsy and other neurological conditions. VNS studies are not just clinically, but also scientifically informative regarding the role of the vagus nerve in health and disease.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Device and Method

Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator Attached to the Auricular Concha via Ear Clip
Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator Attached to the Auricular Concha via Ear Clip

Vagus nerve stimulation works by applying electrical impulses to the vagus nerve. The stimulation of the vagus nerve can be performed in two different ways: a direct invasive stimulation, which is currently the most frequent application and an indirect transcutaneous non-invasive stimulation. Invasive VNS (iVNS) requires the surgical implantation of a small pulse generator subcutaneously in the left thoracic region. In contrast to iVNS, transcutaneous VNS (tVNS) allows for a non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve without any surgical procedure. Here, the stimulator is usually attached to the auricular concha via ear clips and delivers electrical impulses at the subcutaneous course of the afferent auricular branch of the vagus nerve (2).

A pilot study that examined the application of VNS in 60 patients with treatment-resistant depressive disorder showed a significant clinical improvement in 30–37% of patients and a high tolerability (3). Five years later, the stimulation of the vagus nerve for the treatment of refractory depression was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (4). Since then, the safety and efficacy of VNS in depression has been demonstrated in numerous observational studies as can be seen below. In contrast, there is no randomized, placebo-control clinical trial that reliably demonstrates antidepressant effects of VNS.

The vagus nerve represents the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees a vast array of crucial bodily functions, including control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate. It establishes one of the connections between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract and sends information about the state of the inner organs to the brain via afferent fibers. In this review article, we discuss various functions of the vagus nerve which make it an attractive target in treating psychiatric and gastrointestinal disorders. There is preliminary evidence that vagus nerve stimulation is a promising add-on treatment for treatment-refractory depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and inflammatory bowel disease. Treatments that target the vagus nerve increase the vagal tone and inhibit cytokine production. Both are important mechanism of resiliency. The stimulation of vagal afferent fibers in the gut influences monoaminergic brain systems in the brain stem that play crucial roles in major psychiatric conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders. In line, there is preliminary evidence for gut bacteria to have beneficial effect on mood and anxiety, partly by affecting the activity of the vagus nerve. Since, the vagal tone is correlated with capacity to regulate stress responses and can be influenced by breathing, its increase through meditation and yoga likely contribute to resilience and the mitigation of mood and anxiety symptoms.

VNS In Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Vagus nerve stimulation attenuates the systemic inflammatory response to endotoxin (5) and intestinal inflammation (6). The VNs also indirectly modulates immune activity of the spleen through connections with the splenic sympathetic nerve (7). In rats with colonic inflammation, the 3-hour long daily VNS for a period of 5 days led to a reduction in inflammatory markers and an improvement in symptoms of colitis (8).

Vagus nerve stimulation should be of interest in other inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, another TNF-α-mediated disease. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study that demonstrated an improvement of symptoms in the early and late stages of the disease through 1–4 minutes of VNS daily (9). This study was also the first to show that VNS inhibits the production of TNF-α (also known as TNF-alpha) and other cytokines in humans by stimulating the inflammatory reflex, leading to an improvement of symptom severity. These data argue for an anti-inflammatory role of the vagus nerve and provide potential therapeutic applications for patients with IBDs (10, 8, 11).

Conclusion

The interaction between the gut and the brain is based on a complex system that includes not only neural but also endocrine, immune, and humoral links.

The vagus nerve is an essential part of the brain–gut axis and plays an important role in the modulation of inflammation, the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis, and the regulation of food intake, satiety, and energy homeostasis. An interaction between nutrition and the vagus nerve is well known, and vagal tone can influence food intake and weight gain.

Moreover, the vagus nerve plays an important role in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, obesity as well as other stress-induced and inflammatory diseases.

Vagus nerve stimulation and several meditation techniques demonstrate that modulating the vagus nerve has a therapeutic effect, mainly due to its relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Extinction paired with VNS is more rapid than extinction paired with sham stimulation. As it is currently approved by the Federal FDA for depression and seizure prevention, VNS is a readily available and promising adjunct to exposure therapy for the treatment of severe anxiety disorders.

Vagus nerve stimulation is an effective anticonvulsant device and has shown in observational studies antidepressant effects in chronic treatment-resistant depression. Because the vagus nerve sends information to brain regions is important in the stress response (LC, orbitofrontal cortex, insula, hippocampus, and amygdala), this pathway might be involved in perceiving or manifesting various somatic and cognitive symptoms that characterize stress-related disorders.

Psychotropic drugs, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, have effects on both the brain and the gastrointestinal tract and consequently should be understood as modulators of the brain–gut axis.

Research investigating the interaction between nutritive factors, somatic factors, such as heart rate, psychological and pharmacological treatments, and vagal activity has the potential to lead to integrative treatment options that incorporate VNS, nutritional approaches, drugs, and psychological interventions, such as mindfulness-based approaches, which can be tailored to the needs of the individual patient.

Citations

  1. Frontiers in Psychiatry – Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain–Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders (original publication)
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine – Effect of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation on major depressive disorder: A nonrandomized controlled pilot study
  3. Springer Nature – Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS™) for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Efficacy, Side Effects, and Predictors of Outcome
  4. ScienceDirect® – Safety and efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in treatment-resistant depression. A systematic review
  5. Springer Nature – Vagus nerve stimulation attenuates the systemic inflammatory response to endotoxin
  6. Springer Nature – Stimulation of the vagus nerve attenuates macrophage activation by activating the Jak2-STAT3 signaling pathway
  7. American Association for the Advancement of Science – Acetylcholine-Synthesizing T Cells Relay Neural Signals in a Vagus Nerve Circuit
  8. ScienceDirect – Anti-inflammatory effect of vagus nerve stimulation in a rat model of inflammatory bowel disease
  9. PNAS – Vagus nerve stimulation inhibits cytokine production and attenuates disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis
  10. The Physiological Society – Anti‐inflammatory properties of the vagus nerve: potential therapeutic implications of vagus nerve stimulation
  11. Clinical Medicine Insights: Gastroenterology – Bioelectrical Stimulation for the Reduction of Inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  12. CES Ultra – The Role of CES in Fighting Inflammation
  13. CES Ultra – Non-Drug Relief From Anxiety.

Last Modified: July 31, 2019

Coping with Winter Depression

Depression is a chemical habit of the brain. Everyone’s neurochemistry (NC) is slightly different, but everyone is addicted to their own NC. If your NC is that of a depressed person, you need to reverse it. Your brain needs to learn how to go back where it was and start making the NC it used to make. With CES, your brain will remember how to make what it needs. Once your brain’s receptors start calling for the rebalanced levels, you’ll return what was normal for you in the past. Your depression will ebb away.

Winter depression is not a myth

winter-depression-cesultra

Despite the fact that millions of us say we’ve suffered a winter-related low mood, it can feel as though the winter blues is just a myth. But there’s sound scientific evidence to support the idea that the season can affect our moods.

Most scientists believe that the problem is related to the way the body responds to daylight. Alison Kerry, from the mental health charity MIND, says: “With SAD, one theory is that light entering the eye causes changes in hormone levels in the body. In our bodies, light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up.

“It’s thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.”

If you’re going through a bout of winter blues, lack of daylight is probably playing a part.

Long-term depression happens over a period of time, but now you can get your brain to work for you again. The CES Ultra, using Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), can bring you true relief. It’s a proven way to treat feelings of depression—without using drugs. Studies show that approximately 70% of people with depression who use the CES Ultra find relief of their symptoms.

Brain Stimulation Therapies for Mental Health

Alternatives to Drugs in the Treatment of Depression

It’s estimated that around 30 percent of people with depression don’t respond to typical antidepressants. This is known as treatment-resistant depression. An important alternative which can be life-changing is brain stimulation therapy.

brain-stimulation-for-mental-health

Brain stimulation therapy involves the application of [electric] energy over specific brain regions to modulate the function of neural circuits. This can help alleviate symptoms of depression or other mental illnesses that aren’t responding to typical treatments, such as bipolar disorder. There are five main types of brain stimulation therapies used to treat mental illness: electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, and magnetic seizure therapy. Let’s explore vagus nerve stimulation(VNS) and Deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)

Vagus nerve stimulation was initially developed as a treatment for the seizure disorder epilepsy, and in a happy accident, scientists discovered that it could help with depression as well. The FDA approved VNS for treatment-resistant depression in 2005.

If you’re getting this kind of therapy, doctors will surgically implant a tool called a pulse generator into the upper left portion of your chest. An electrical wire connects the pulse generator to your vagus nerve, which runs from your brain through your neck and into your chest and abdomen. From its command center in your chest, the pulse generator will send bursts of electric currents to your brain every couple of minutes. Pulse generators typically work for around 10 years before they need to be replaced.

It appears as though VNS can improve issues like severe depression by changing levels of neurotransmitters in your brain including serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA, and glutamate. A 2018 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry analyzed quality of life reports from 599 people with treatment-resistant depression, finding that those who combined VNS with other antidepressant treatments experienced significant improvements in their quality of life, even if their symptoms didn’t disappear completely. That points to an important fact about VNS: anyone receiving it will need to continue their other treatments (like taking antidepressants). Even so, it can take months to see a difference when using VNS, and the device could shift or malfunction, which may require more surgery.

VNS is not a surefire fix. Some people’s conditions get worse after they try it, not better.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS)

This started as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Then doctors realized it shows promise for easing depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, too. FDA approved deep brain stimulation for obsessive compulsive disorder, but not yet for depression.

Like VNS, deep brain stimulation uses pulse generators in the chest to send electrical pulses to the brain. Unlike VNS, which delivers stimulation in bursts, DBS involves more continuous stimulation but you should be able to customize the exact frequency with your doctor’s help.

The Problem: Both Deep brain stimulation and Vagus nerve stimulation describe costly and intrusive procedure involving an implant.

The Solution:

There is another non –intrusive, non-invasive and  way to target the vague nerve: cranial electrotherapy stimulation using CES devices. CES devices can achieve good result at fraction of the cost; and there is no need for an implant.CES therapy is simple and easy. Pre-gelled electrodes are placed in such a manner as to directly The compact size and ear clip electrodes makes it easy to use just about anywhere and under a variety of circumstances. You can your portable CES unit  at home while watching TV, doing the dishes, walking, studying, at the office while poring over a report, etc. You can do so safely, with no serious negative side-effects and at a fraction of the cost and none of the risks of a major operation.

re: > https://www.self.com/story/brain-stimulation-therapies

4 Creative Ways to Treat Post-Halloween Depression

Feeling down and extremely lethargic after a wild, rambunctious party in the weekend? Do you feel teary-eyed when you think that you have to clean up all your ghoul and gory decorations for the next year? Do you feel sad that you only get to wear your awesome Halloween costume once?

halloween-depression

If you answer yes to any of those questions, what you’re experiencing is probably post-Halloween depression (PHD). And we know exactly how that feels. It happens every year.

The good news is we know just the cure. So without any further ado, check out our top five cures to help you overcome a serious bout of PHD.

Leave your decorations up until you’re ready to decorate for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Hey, if you don’t want to, there’s no need to hurry. And nobody can force you to do that. So let those bat garlands hang in the ceiling for a while. Set your scary doorbell on for a while. Display your jack-o-lantern pumpkins for a few more week until they gather molds and start to reek.

Who cares if the rest of your neighborhood is putting up Christmas decorations? The most important thing is you’re doing your thing. And if the face the grim reaper makes you happy even if it’s already December, so be it. If they start to complain, you can always say that you have a The Nightmare Before Christmas decoration theme.

Throw another costume party.

Yes, we know. We’re a little hangover ourselves. One day is just not enough to flaunt that sexy Halloween costume you’ve planned and worked hard for days just to get that perfect, gorgeous look. So instead of keeping your pumpkin princess costume away to never see the light of day, throw another costume party.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner so why not throw a costume-themed dinner for your friends and family? We’re sure your PHD-stricken crowd would welcome the change. Plus, the idea is a way of getting closure, you know? A way to help you move on and patiently wait for next year (wink, wink).

Start planning your Halloween Costume for next year.

You know what they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If one of the reasons you’re experiencing PHD is because of the “What could’ve been,” then start making plans for next year’s Halloween. You can start shopping online for women’s clothes that you can transform in to a costume. This will save you from the stress.

And if you plan your Halloween costumes all the time, this tip can help save you from the hassle of bulk buying. And if there are any sales, you can save more bucks.

Get some sleep.

If you partied all weekend, the lack of sleep may be to blame for your melancholy. According to experts, there’s a link between sleep deprivation and depression. So if that’s what’s keeping you down, you might want make up for those sleepless hours. If you do so, you’ll be feeling refreshed, energized and excited for the next holidays to come.

And you can be creative … with “getting some sleep” too

ref.: http://www.lookbookstore.co/blogs/news/

Pressure and Stress

Efforts, challenges, threats, or perceived threats or damage (physical and/or psychological) puts pressure on our biosystem. We thrive on various pressures to experience, adapt, survive, learn, and to live. Muscles can develop from putting pressure on them and they will atrophy without that work. The same principle applies throughout our physical system, and our brain as well (emotion and intellect). We depend on pressure and grow by challenging ourselves. We will define healthy systemic pressure as eustress. This is differentiated from what we commonly call stress. In engineering terms the concept of stress say on a steel I beam in a high rise building can lead to metal fatigue and the actual physical breaking of that beam, which could potentially lead to the breaking and even collapse of that building. We will follow the convention of using stress to mean bad stress.

Despite this, please regard stress as basically good. People can subject themselves to so much exercise that they loose strength and endurance. They use up their muscle tissue faster than they rebuild it. Then the healthy stress on their muscles becomes destructive.

Chemically, we need adrenaline and choline systems, adrenergic and cholinergic systems.

We need our bodies’ hormonal systems to use and build our muscles. The body’s hormonal systems also keep a homeostatic balance.

Psychological Distress

In psychological stress, the body shifts into the fight or flight mode. Our body prepares for immediate physical action. These systems too can suffer atrophy or exhaustion. We can directly see and feel the body’s responses to some kinds of stress. We sweat and flush from muscular effort; we get goose bumps and pale skin from cold. We can even hear fatigue or shivering in a person’s voice.

Insensible Stress

Primarily hidden symptoms accompany the shift from benign to pathological stress. We cannot so easily see, hear, or feel sleeplessness, irritability, and inability to concentrate. For most of us, only mechanical medically related instruments reveal blood pressure gradually elevating to dangerous levels, and body chemistry going out of balance. Sometimes the body cannot maintain the range of temperature necessary for adequate functioning.

stress-scream

Sometimes people persist in exercising, working, or even playing to exhaustion. Either can lead to collapse and eventual death. The body also suffers other types of collapse when other types of stress press it beyond its limits.

When under stress, the brain shifts its transmitter balance. This prepares the body to deal with the stress. If the stressing agent remains present (stressful conditions on the job, in the home, etc.) the shift may become permanent. The body and the personality of the

individual can suffer from such permanent shifts away from healthy homeostasis. This brings patients to medical treatment facilities.