Brain Stimulation Protocol Results in Remission of Depression for 79% of Patients

November 22, 2021

Non-Invasive Treatment Produced No Adverse Events During Clinical Trial

Research has shown that individuals with autism are 4-times more likely to experience depression over their lifetime compared to people without the disorder. Due to this fact, a recently released placebo-controlled test out of Stanford University’s Medical Center should be very interesting to the autism community. The study involved an enhanced form of non-invasive brain stimulation called SNT (Stanford Neuromodulation Therapy, formerly called SAINT). The research team’s exciting findings showed that a large antidepressant effect was experienced by 79% of the subjects enrolled in their trial. These improvements were observed within 4 weeks of the conclusion of the 5-day SNT course of treatment. The research team considered these previously labeled treatment-resistant patients to be in remission after going through their protocol. SNT utilizes iTBS (intermittent theta-burst stimulation) in 10 treatment sessions daily that last 10 minutes each. These sessions are spaced 50 minutes apart. Each iTBS session delivers 1800 magnetic pulses to the brain, a higher amount than earlier research protocols using the similar technology. However, despite the higher iTBS dose, no severe adverse events occurred during this trial. The most common reported side effect was headache, which was experienced by a little more than half of those who received the active SNT treatment and was easily managed by over-the-counter medication. In the future, this non-invasive treatment may deliver much needed relief to many individuals with autism who also suffer with depressive disorders. 

Original Article 

Original Study Abstract

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