New Advances in Treating Mood Disorders


The investigators spent the next 10 years using animal models5 to develop an instrument that would provide a low, pulsed electric field (≤1 V/m, 1 kHz) in the brain. Preliminary data on a sham study of 63 patients with unipolar or bipolar depression showed a positive effect with a single 20-minute exposure.6 A larger follow-up study is in progress.


Predictive analytic methods, such as the upcoming collaborative study with Cogito and MoodNetwork, have the potential to transform how we track and treat patients with mood disorders. Big data, patient-centered collaborations such as MoodNetwork have the potential to change the way clinicians form partnerships with patients to do the studies that matter most to them. New methods to deliver energy, such as tNIR and low-field magnetic stimulation, may provide new ways to safely treat mood disorders.

Andrew A. Nierenberg, MD, is the Thomas P. Hackett, MD, Endowed Chair in Psychiatry and director of the Bipolar Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is also a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the principal investigator of


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