Depression is a growing problem in Canada and elsewhere, and one of the most important public health issues today, says the World Health Organization (WHO). The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing containment measures have had an impact on the mental health of Canadians and have created conditions that are associated with increased rates of suicide.
Unfortunately, front-line treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and medication, remain ineffective for a large portion of patients receiving care.
However, a new type of treatment is promising: neurostimulation. Here, a technician in a clinic directs a magnetic coil and delivers a few hundred electromagnetic pulses to a specific area of the brain. Treatments are painless, involve no surgery or significant side-effects and take less than an hour a day. The results are impressive. But is this too good to be true?
As a professor of neuroscience in the department of biology at the University of Ottawa and an affiliated researcher at the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto, my research in nonlinear physics has led me to the incredible complexity and richness of biological systems, especially in neuroscience.
Using mathematics and the power of numerical computation, it is possible to better understand not only how the brain works at the cellular level but also how its vast network is organized and what may be lacking because in presence of diseases, such as depression. This can help identify new avenues for treatment and test their effectiveness through simulations. Its a huge task that Im working on in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of researchers around the world.
During the past decade, medical treatments involving neurostimulation, or cerebral electromagnetic stimulation, have resurfaced in neuroscience and psychiatry.
After the murky days of electroconvulsive therapy and other techniques, which had rather bad press, electrical or magnetic stimulation of neurons is attempting a comeback, using a much more sophisticated approach and much lower electrical currents. As a result, neurostimulation is becoming increasingly important in the treatment of depression, and its effectiveness seems to surpass that of medication in many patients.
Methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are safe and painless alternatives to traditional pharmacological treatments. In addition, they have virtually no side-effects and offer new insights into the manipulation and control of cognitive processes.
Recent meta-analyses have identified positive and lasting effects of TMS neurostimulation treatments on patients with depression, some of whom experienced benefits up to one year after treatment.
These treatments are now approved by many regulatory agencies and the clinical use of neurostimulation is on the rise in many countries. In particular, portable TMS devices are in development and in the process of being approved by Health Canada for wider, accessible deployment. These devices would allow patients to treat themselves at home, without having to go to the clinic every day as is currently the case.
However, a major challenge remains: how to control brain activity accurately. What areas and types of magnetic signals should be used to relieve patients symptoms? For despite amazing results and promising advances, the mechanisms of neurostimulation remain poorly understood. Why?
TMS uses a coil to create a magnetic field that induces electric currents in the brain. Neurons are cells that communicate by means of repeated electrochemical impulses; the brain is an organ with essentially electrical functions. Magnetic fields can therefore influence the dialogue between different areas of the brain and in theory restore or balance their function.
The brain, composed of billions of neurons with continuously changing dynamics, is an incredibly complex network. Neurostimulation therefore poses quite a problem for researchers and clinicians, such as where to stimulate and how. The problem is so great that many advances are being made empirically using the trial-and-error method.
Mathematics is involved in this interdisciplinary adventure. What if, through mathematical models of brain circuits, we could understand how stimulation influences neurons and how its effects propagate?
By integrating brain imaging data such as magnetic resonance and electroencephalograms, mathematics can be used to create numerical simulations to better understand the influence of neurostimulation on neuronal activity. Its a promising approach that could indeed allow us to unravel the mystery of considering the brain as a pendulum!
To better understand, lets go back a bit.
The activity of neurons in the brain is far from being random and irregular. On the contrary, the neurons in certain parts of the brain co-ordinate their activity and react at the same time. They synchronize. This synchronization of the neurons in the brain appears in the magnifying glass of medical imaging as waves, or very characteristic oscillations, which are also called brain rhythms.
Brain activity oscillates like a pendulum and this constant to-and-fro movement allows us to see neuronal processes in action. Like ripples on a pond, brain rhythms are dynamic, changing according to our cognitive states. They will be different during a sustained mental effort, during physical activity and during sleep or meditation.
Researchers believe that brain waves are involved in the majority of brain processes. It is also these same rhythms that seem to be lacking in many neurodegenerative diseases. They are absent, too strong or too slow.
What if we could control these rhythms with the help of neurostimulation? This is the emerging hypothesis put forward by some neurostimulation researchers. Using advanced mathematics and computer simulations, they want to understand how co-ordination between networked neurons can be influenced and to what extent electromagnetic stimulation can be used to control brain rhythms and to develop treatments for neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons, schizophrenia and depression.
This research may lead to a better understanding of the role of these rhythms in brain function, the code used by neurons to communicate with each other and a better understanding of what is lacking in certain diseases. It may also allow us to use neurostimulation to increase the computational capacity of these neural networks, thereby increasing cognitive abilities and creativity. Science fiction? Maybe but not completely.
- BrainsWay Announces Publication of New Real-World OCD Data for its Deep TMS System in Journal of Psychiatric Research - GlobeNewswire - November 17th, 2020
- Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Size, Share, Growth Rate, Revenue, Applications, Industry Demand & Forecast to 2025 - The Think... - November 17th, 2020
- Hudson Capital and FreightHub Merge - Citybizlist - November 17th, 2020
- TMS students recognized as Blazers of the Quarter - The Torrington Telegram - November 15th, 2020
- Greenbrook TMS Reports Third Quarter Financial Results With Continued Resilient Performance Through the COVID-19 Pandemic, Announces Spravato Pilot... - November 15th, 2020
- BrainsWay Announces Publication of New Real-World OCD Data for its Deep TMS System in Journal of Psychiatric Research - Yahoo Finance - November 15th, 2020
- Freight Scouts Transforms Broker Operations with Descartes' Cloud-based Solution - DC Velocity - November 15th, 2020
- EDAP TMS SA to Announce Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results on November 18, 2020 - Yahoo Finance - November 15th, 2020
- Tenino Middle School Honored as AVID 'Site of Distinction' for Showing Marked Improvement in Past Three Years - Centralia Chronicle - November 15th, 2020
- Freight Scouts Transforms Broker Operations with Cloud-based Transportation Management and Load Tracking Visibility Solution from Descartes - IT News... - November 15th, 2020
- Five Keys to Overcoming the Barriers that Limit Dedicated Fleet Productivity - Supply Chain Management Review - November 15th, 2020
- Odyssey Logistics & Technology TMS Study Reveals Insights Amid the Pandemic on Logistics Technology and Market Conditions - PR Web - August 19th, 2020
- BulkLoads TMS product for bulk commodities will be integrated into Barchart - FreightWaves - August 19th, 2020
- Toyota Kirloskar Motor new car leasing & subscription Program through TMS - United News of India - August 19th, 2020
- Treasury Management System (TMS) Market Size By Product Analysis, By Application, By End-Users, By Regional Outlook, By Top Companies and Forecast to... - August 19th, 2020
- For those in Salem with depression, new clinic provides another resource for treatment - Salem Reporter - July 25th, 2020
- Global TMS(Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Coil Market 2020 Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trend and Forecast to 2025 - Red & Black... - July 25th, 2020
- ORANGEBURG PROPERTY TRANSFERS - The Times and Democrat - July 25th, 2020
- Your Healthy Family: Getting help with the stress of uncertainty during a pandemic - KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News - July 25th, 2020
- Mauritius club fined for not doing the TMS paperwork - Inside World Football - July 25th, 2020
- Coronavirus: Fifa gives Safa the power to extend the 2019-20 PSL season - Yahoo Sports - July 25th, 2020
- Global Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market 2020 Industry Research Manufacturer Landscape, Revenue and Volume Analysis and Segment... - July 25th, 2020
- Racin' Today Dillon Answers 'Haters' With Victory In Texas - RacinToday.com - July 25th, 2020
- Live TMS Treatment from NeuroSpa TMS - WFLA - July 15th, 2020
- Strategy Systems Expands Integration with Trucker Tools, adds Book It Now to TMS Platform - DC Velocity - July 15th, 2020
- ARL Logistics Taps Trucker Tools for Smart Capacity Predictive Freight-Matching, Automated One-Click Load Booking with Book It Now - PR Web - July 15th, 2020
- Global Transportation Management System (TMS) Market 2020: Size, Share, Revenue, Growth, Supply, Top Companies and Forecast Research 2025 - Sports... - July 15th, 2020
- Coupa acquires BELLIN, targeting treasury management (Part 2: TMS Market, Competitors and TAM / Market-Sizing Considerations) - Spend Matters - June 24th, 2020
- Archerhub Launches ALVUS TMS to help Carrier Partners Grow their Businesses - DC Velocity - June 24th, 2020
- Axele TMS allows small, midsize FTL carriers to improve load planning and communications, increase profit - The Trucker - June 24th, 2020
- IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON Talent Management Systems (TMS) RESEARCH, GROWTH TRENDS AND COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS 2020-2026 - Jewish Life News - June 24th, 2020
- Addressing the potential impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on TMS Neuronavigation Systems Market: Industry Size, Trends and Analysis - Jewish... - June 24th, 2020
- Toll Management System(TMS) Market Overview, Environmental Analysis and Forecas - News by aeresearch - June 24th, 2020
- Interview: Steve Guttenberg on Into the Dark's Good Boy, Home for the Holidays, and His Craft - The Mary Sue - June 24th, 2020
- Active Recovery TMS Treats Depression Without Medication - KATU - June 1st, 2020
- TMS focuses on digitalisation and business transformation in third Covid-19 Webinar - Latest Maritime & Shipping News Online - The Maritime... - June 1st, 2020
- TMS ends the year, honors students with virtual award ceremony - thechronicle-news.com - June 1st, 2020
- Impact of Covid-19 Outbreak on Treasury Management System (TMS) Market 2020 Trends, Growth Opportunities, Demand, Application, Top Companies and... - June 1st, 2020
- IndyCar drivers prepare to enter a 'new world' of racing when the season resumes June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway - The Dallas Morning News - June 1st, 2020
- Work begins on Hong Kong rail extension - The Construction Index - June 1st, 2020
- Global TMS(Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Coil Market Along With Covid-19 Impact Analysis and Industry Outlook 2020-2026 by Magstim , MagVenture ,... - June 1st, 2020
- Alpega's Freight Exchange, Teleroute, launches an API interface and a new mobile App to help their increasing number of customers work even more... - June 1st, 2020
- Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Recent Trends and Developments, Challenges and Opportunities, key drivers and Restraints over the... - May 24th, 2020
- Hilton TMs Save Life of Guest Suffering Heart Attack - Franchising.com - May 24th, 2020
- UltraShipTMS Partners with LeanSwift to Deliver TMS Solutions to Shippers Using Infor M3 ERP - PR Web - May 24th, 2020
- COVID-19: Responding to the business impacts of Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market 2020: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends,... - May 24th, 2020
- Impact of Covid-19 Talent Management Software (TMS) Market Rising Trends and Global Outlook (2020 To 2027) - Latest Herald - May 4th, 2020
- From the First Message to the Last Mile, BluJay's Latest Software Releases Improve Complex Logistics - DC Velocity - May 4th, 2020
- GlobalTranz Recognized as Top Ten Freight Brokerage for a Third Consecutive Year by Transport Topics - Yahoo Finance - May 4th, 2020
- Texas Motor Speedway is hosting high school graduations for the class of 2020 - CNN - May 4th, 2020
- Texas Motor Speedway to host HS graduation ceremonies - RACER - May 4th, 2020
- Treasury Management System (TMS) Market Size by Top Key Players, Growth Opportunities, Incremental Revenue , Outlook and Forecasts to 2026 - Latest... - May 4th, 2020
- These Analysts Think Greenbrook TMS Inc.s (TSE:GTMS) Sales Are Under Threat - Simply Wall St - May 4th, 2020
- Pokmon GOs Elite TMs Arrive And Shake Up The Meta Movesets - TheGamer - May 4th, 2020
- Powerful Optimization Tool from MercuryGate Uniquely Supports the Transportation Industrys Demand to Drive a Disrupted Supply Chain - Yahoo Finance - April 11th, 2020
- Powerful Optimization Tool from MercuryGate Uniquely Supports the Transportation Industry's Demand to Drive a Disrupted Supply Chain - Business Wire - April 9th, 2020
- Alpega TMS Brings Together the Expertise of inet and Transwide - Yahoo Finance - April 9th, 2020
- The Remedy Is Now Offering Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS) Therapy to Treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Obsessive-Compulsive... - April 9th, 2020
- Time To Worry? One Analyst Just Downgraded Their EDAP TMS S.A. (NASDAQ:EDAP) Outlook - Yahoo Finance - April 9th, 2020
- Valiant latest Canadian supplier to add to arsenal of health, free of charge - Automotive News Canada - April 9th, 2020
- No interest in Texas IndyCar race without fans - The Union Journal - April 9th, 2020
- Can EDAP TMS S.A.'s (NASDAQ:EDAP) ROE Continue To Surpass The Industry Average? - Yahoo Finance - March 31st, 2020
- EKA Solutions Announces TMS Offer for Brokers to Operate their Business Entirely Remotely - The Herald Journal - March 31st, 2020
- EDAP TMS SA to Announce Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2019 Financial Results on Monday, March 30, 2020 - Yahoo Finance - March 31st, 2020
- Jeremy Hudson Named to the 2020 Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain - Benzinga - March 31st, 2020
- Production Team TMS on the Unlikely Success of 'Someone You Loved' - Billboard - March 24th, 2020
- BrainsWay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2019 Financial Results and Operational Highlights - Yahoo Finance - March 24th, 2020
- VIDEO: What is TMS-65U? Soviet-era MiG-15 fighter jet engine powered special vehicle deployed by Russia to battle coronavirus in Italy - International... - March 24th, 2020
- Edited Transcript of BRIN.TA earnings conference call or presentation 23-Mar-20 12:30pm GMT - Yahoo Finance - March 24th, 2020
- A Drive To Investigate: Full Genesect Special Research Tasks, Steps And Rewards In Pokmon GO - Forbes - March 24th, 2020
- The Transportation Management System (TMS) MARKET is expected to grow by USD 1.62 bn during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of 9% during the forecast... - March 5th, 2020
- GO Battle League Season 1: Everything You Need to Know - Pokemon GO Hub - March 5th, 2020
- Pokemon Go Elite TMs and How to Get the Best Use out of Them - Future Game Releases - March 5th, 2020
- Massive growth of Preservation TMS(Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Coil Market 2025 with high CAGR In Coming Years with Focusing Key players like... - March 5th, 2020
- Lindsay Luetje goes above and beyond as Telstar dean - Lewiston Sun Journal - March 5th, 2020
- What Is A Game Localization System And What Can It Do For You? [Part 1] - Gamasutra - March 5th, 2020
- BrainsWay to Participate in Upcoming Investor Conferences - Yahoo Finance - March 5th, 2020
- Make Your Workflow Smooth and Effective! This New System is the Key - Slator - February 29th, 2020
- TMS(Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Coil to Reap Excessive Revenues by 2019-2025 - Jewish Life News - February 29th, 2020
- San Francisco Bay Area Psychiatric Acquisition Will Increase Access to Advanced Care - Benzinga - February 29th, 2020