HDCStim – The TECHNOLOGY THAT REDUCES TREATMENT PERIOD AND MEDICATION IN DEPRESSION TREATMENT

What would you think if one day the medical prescription for severe depression could sound something like this:
“In the comfort of your own home, apply the HDCStim device (transcranial electrical stimulation device) to your scalp a few times a week. For 20 minutes, a low-intensity electric current will be delivered to your brain.”

The treatment could be provided by a user-friendly electrical stimulation device called HDCStim, which has recently become a hot topic in neuroscientific research. It is now transitioning from the laboratory to medical clinics.

HDCStim is a specially designed device for treating depression, chronic pain, post-stroke sequelae, and cravings. It is the product that brings transcranial electrical stimulation into the clinical setting, in a medical office.

Transcranial electrical stimulation is seen as a novel and exceptional treatment because it is accessible, administered with a portable device, and easy to use. The treatment is EFFECTIVE, SAFE, NON-INVASIVE, and PAINLESS, classified as a medical device according to EU and international regulations.

Depression and Transcranial Electrical Stimulation

Depression, even in the most severe cases, can be successfully treated. The earlier the treatment is initiated, the more effective it is.

Depression is usually treated with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. Treatment for depression is long-term and can last from a few months to several years. Antidepressants are slow to kick in, taking about 2-3 weeks and need to be taken continuously for a longer period of time. Of course, in addition to their beneficial effects, antidepressants, like any other drugs, also produce undesirable side effects.

Treatment with transcranial electrical stimulation HDC Stim is particularly a good choice when there are comorbidities (associated illnesses), and taking antidepressants may interact with existing medication. Thus, HDC Stim is a very good treatment option in terms of avoiding drug interactions.

In the Med Anima clinics, the treatment of depression with transcranial electrical stimulation has been performed for over 5 years (since 2019), thus allowing the accumulation of a vast experience of our medical team in the office, following the interactions with various patients diagnosed with depression and the positive results obtained from the successful treatment of hundreds of cases in all these years.

WHAT IS HDCStim AND WHAT BENEFITS IT HAS IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION

Transcranial electrical stimulation is a non-invasive treatment that has been widely studied over the last 15 years and which offers numerous benefits for the human body. It is based on the simple principle of direct current polarization, i.e. the direct application of low-intensity electric current to the scalp. The electric current passes through the scalp without causing pain and influences the neuronal activity of specific areas of the brain, causing modulation of spontaneous neuronal discharge (either stimulation or inhibition of neuronal activity) at that level.

In recent years, a new method for alleviating depressive symptoms has been developed: Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (tDCS).

This new method offers several advantages that translate into benefits for the user:

NON-INVASIVE

It is a non-invasive technique with minimal side effects.

ACCESSIBLE

It is a more affordable treatment option compared to other methods.

EASY TO USE

It is user-friendly, and the portable device can be used at home* in a familiar environment, within the comfort and privacy of your own home.

*only under the recommendation of a doctor

Dr. Irina Săcuiu, 2019 interview – Benefits of HDC Stim IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION

This is what HDCStim brings as an additional benefit in depression treatment:

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tDCS) can be used as monotherapy for depression or in combination with antidepressant medication.

WHAT HDCStim ACTUALLY DOES:

✔️ shortens the duration of treatment with antidepressants
✔️ decreases the doses of antidepressants used
✔️ brings a faster antidepressant response
✔️ relieves symptoms of depression
✔️ decreases anxiety, restlessness, somatic symptoms
✔️ improves cognition (memory, attention) which is impaired in depression

Conditions for which HDCStim is used:

Depending on the targeted brain area, electrical stimulation can be used for the treatment of various psychiatric or neurological conditions. Research on transcranial electrical stimulation has recently expanded to safely and effectively treat the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Chronic pain: treatment-resistant chronic fibromyalgia, spinal conditions, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, post-stroke pain syndrome, neuropathic pain, central pain following spinal cord injuries.
  • Post-stroke recovery: acute, subacute, and chronic aphasia; subacute post-stroke dysphagia, other post-stroke sequelae.
  • Cravings: nicotine addiction, compulsive eating, alcohol addiction.

Stages in the use of HDCStim:

To benefit from transcranial electrical stimulation treatment for depression, an initial psychiatric consultation is necessary to determine the severity of the condition and the appropriate treatment modalities for each patient (medication and/or psychotherapy and/or tDCS). Subsequent psychiatric consultations are required to monitor the treatment.

Transcranial electrical stimulation sessions last 20 minutes per day for 2-3 weeks.

Subsequently, maintenance transcranial electrical stimulation treatment is necessary as directed by the doctor and based on the treatment response.

Medical Details

There are different mechanisms of action underlying the effects of transcranial electrical stimulation:

  • Effects induced by changes in transmembrane conductivity and alterations in intracellular ion and calcium concentrations.
  • Synaptic modulation of dopamine and glutamate receptors.
  • Effects resulting from non-synaptic modulation of membrane potential (presynaptic, postsynaptic, and axonal fibers).

Newronika – Manufacturer of HDCStim

HDCStim is developed by Newronika, a spin-off company of one of Italy’s largest national research hospitals, Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Cà Granda Policlinico in Milan, and one of Italy’s largest universities, Università degli Studi di Milano, which are shareholders of the company.

Prof. Alberto Priori (professor and PhD in medicine, specializing in neurology), one of the founders of the company, first described in 1998 the method of transcranial direct current stimulation, today known as tDCS (with a very large number of scientific publications), and with his group developed innovative methods of neurostimulation of the central nervous system which are the subject of international patents.

HDCStim is classified as a medical device according to EU regulations, falling under the category of Class IIa medical devices, CMDCAS Class II, GMP Class III. It is also approved as a medical device for home use according to IEC 60601-1-11 standards, but only with the recommendation of a specialist doctor.

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