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Use phase coupled sonic pulses to affect subjects' higher cortical functions, like ECT without electric.
  [vote for,

ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is over 90% effective in alleviating signs and symptoms of depression and has relatively few adverse long-term effects compared to drugs for the same condition. Many people fear ECT enough to refuse to consider it, because the idea of becoming a 'human lightning rod' and having some memory loss is more of a trade than they will accept.

What does ECT actually do that is a benefit? Other than some solid explanations of ECT's physical effects, opinions on the nature of psychological benefits vary. Well, if there was a better way to disrupt nerve function than rapid electrical depolarization, would some barriers to acceptance fall?

I haven't seen a source for what I'm proposing, so I'd like to hear from a few of the posters here if any are aware of studies in progress for treating mental illness with ultrasonic shock waves.

dpsyplc, Mar 08 2004

Or you could always try magnets. http://www.angelfire.com/nb/scinc/n.html
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Adaptive Phased Array (APA) Heat Treatment http://www.celsion.com/
Technology [dpsyplc, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Isn't this what head bangers do to themselves by placing their heads next to the amps at heavy metal concerts?
DrCurry, Mar 08 2004

       I don't know. Keep smiling and move over.
dpsyplc, Mar 08 2004

       ECT's problems are larger than its sixties heritage.   

       The side effects are problematic, and grow with each succeeding treatment. These include short-term memory loss, accompanied by varied degrees of disorientation. If the course of treatment is followed for a prolonged period of time, long-term memory (from a time period preceding the treatment period) loss can occur.   

       Memory loss aside, there are other problems with ECT. Muscular pain is almost a given; not surprising with an electric shock. Even at low dose levels, it is given under general anaesthesia. Less important, it's messy. Those electrodes leave some rather unflattering crap in your hair.   

       Even given the above factors, ECT would be extremely useful, but it has a rate of relapse greater than almost any other treatment. Without ongoing treatment, relapse is almost assured.   

       USWT would probably have relatively few similarities to ECT. ECT is generally accepted to work along the same lines as a very mild seizure. USW would have significant difficulty replicating that.
homemadex-raymachine, Mar 09 2004

       There's a link to an example of the ablation therapy you refer to, [UnaBubba]; very promising. The research into 'incurable' bipolar disorders is not as clear-cut or well documented; at last consensus it would appear to be a placebo effect that manifests whether the MRI device is functional or a noisy mock-up of an MRI device. Guess that's why they're calling those 'incurable'?   

       As for penetrating the cranium, I believe you are correct about cell damage from collateral heat if the transducer were to pass through the cranial vault. I think that problem would be eliminated by placing the transducers as if to straddle the ethmoid bone. Soft tissue predominates there, softer transuducer cycles would be necessary, and the sites used would be near the frontal, prefrontal, and temporal areas most desirable for stimulation.
dpsyplc, Mar 09 2004


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