Representatives of Flow Neuroscience announced on the company's website that the headset device, simply called Flow, commercially available – claim the device can reduce the symptoms of chronic depression. Recently, the UK government has favored such devices (as the EU has done), citing research showing that such devices can be useful for treating long-term, chronic depression. The device is now available for purchase for £ 399 and includes an app that the company claims was created by a team of psychologists. They also note that they are offering a 30-day trial period.
The device sits mostly on the upper forehead and sends a small stream of electricity through the skull to the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for personality, decision making, and regulation of emotions). The technology, known as direct current transcranial stimulation, has been the subject of numerous tests, most of which have been found to provide some degree of relief from the symptoms of depression. Many come to the conclusion that it is at least as effective as antidepressants, but without the side effects. So far, none of the tests have found any adverse effects from such treatment except red skin where electrodes are placed and accidental headache occurs. Such treatments have been found to alter the potential of neurons ̵
After purchasing the device (in consultation with their own healthcare provider), users are directed to wear the headset for half an hour approximately every three days for six weeks. While doing so, they are encouraged to use an app that provides helpful tips such as reminders to get enough sleep, proper nutrition and exercise.
Personalized therapeutic brain stimulation
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Brain Stimulation Headsets for Home Depression Treatment now on sale in the US (2019, November 1)
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