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J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2010 Nov;48(11):37-42. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20100701-01. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation for the treatment of depression.

Author information

1
University of Tennessee College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee 37966, USA. mgunther@utk.edu

Abstract

More prevalent in women than men, clinical depression affects approximately 15 million American adults in a given year. Psychopharmaceutical therapy accompanied by psychotherapy and wellness interventions (e.g., nutrition, exercise, counseling) is effective in 80% of diagnosed cases. A lesser known adjunctive therapy is that of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). The major hypothesis for the use of CES in depression is that it may reset the brain to pre-stress homeostasis levels. It is conjectured that the pulsed electrical currents emitted by cranial electrical stimulators affect changes in the limbic system, the reticular activating system, and/or the hypothalamus that result in neurotransmitter secretion and downstream hormone production. While evidence is good for applied research, basic research about the mechanisms of action for CES remains in its infancy. A review of the literature provides an overview of current research findings and implications for clinical mental health practice.

PMID:
20669869
DOI:
10.3928/02793695-20100701-01
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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