Secondary Care

New brain stimulation treatment for depression

Harley Street clinics are to offer patients a new medically approved brain stimulation headset to treat depression.

The technology from medical device company Flow Neuroscience has been shown in independent clinical studies to have a similar impact to antidepressants but with fewer and less-severe side effects.

The treatment is being trialled in 11 clinics and if successful, will be offered to patients as an add-on treatment in combination with traditional therapy and psychiatrist services.

The Flow headset uses transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to activate neurons in this area and rebalance activity. Randomised controlled trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the British Journal of Psychiatry showed that tDCS of the type used in the Flow headset had a similar impact to antidepressants but with fewer and less-severe side effects.

Dr Elena Touroni, Consultant Psychologist and Clinical Director at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, says “We pride ourselves on treating mental health conditions in an integrated, therapeutic approach. With Flow’s brain stimulation headset our highly respected experts now have a new tool to treat depression and help patients overcome their mental health challenges.”

Daniel Mansson, Clinical Psychologist and CEO of Flow  “Integrating the Flow brain stimulation headset with the standard practice of treating mental health is of great benefit to the patient but also to the clinician who can now provide an effective and accessible option for the treatment of depression. We’re starting talks with the NHS to have our headset available on prescription.”

The Flow brain stimulation headset can also be used at home and retails for £399.

In Europe, the Flow brain stimulation headset is classified as a Class IIa medical device intended for use as a treatment for depression, and was certified by BSI’s Netherlands notified body.