Approximately one in four people will suffer from depression this year. In the U.S. alone, around 20 million adults suffer from depression. Those numbers are even more staggering when you add in the people impacted by depression in other countries around the globe.
Depression is a silent illness, and it’s one that many people do not talk about but suffer from regularly. It’s also one mental illness that deserves more attention because it can be fixed, in many cases.
An Israeli startup called Brainsway has developed a helmet that can reach neurons that have previously been unreachable. The helmet, the company states, can help cure depression.
How the Brainsway Helmet Works
The Brainsway helmet sends electromagnetic pulses into the brain. These pulses stimulate neurons that usually cannot be reached. If this sounds like electroshock therapy to you, that’s because it is. Brainsway’s helmet is a form of electroshock therapy, but this time around the therapy is safer and does not hurt patients. Test results have shown that this helmet does work, and the FDA has approved the helmet for use with severely depressed individuals. Brainsway reps have told press that this helmet can do a lot more than help depression patients.
Brainsway’s helmet can also help Alzheimer’s patients, and people suffering from different neurological disorders. Using imaging tools, Brainsway can develop specific helmets for individual patients, and this technology is the first of its kind. So far, the startup has sold over 70 helmets. Right now, the company’s main market is in the United States, but the startup is looking to expand sales as rapidly as possible. This helmet cannot be sold to individuals currently, and pricing details are not published openly (you have to contact the company for more information).
Is This The End of Depression Medication?
The fact that the FDA has approved Brainsway’s helmet is huge for the company. Many people suffering from depression do not like to take medications, and working with a device such as this one may give those suffering from depression an alternative to medications that come with a major list of side effects. In some ways, this helmet could make depression medication obsolete, and that would be okay with many people working with depression.
Not only does Brainsway stand to make a lot of money with this helmet, but people suffering from depression may soon have a way to avoid taking medications and paying therapists thousands of dollars. Facilities in the United States that are currently using the Brainsway helmet include major medical centers within the U.S. Right now, the helmet might be hard to locate, but it’s bound to become a staple in many treatment centers that fight to cure depression.
Would you endure electroshock therapy if it could cure depression? From the looks of the Brainsway demo videos, the helmet does not hurt patients in the least. While it’s somewhat scary to rethink the idea of electroshock therapy, modern technology sheds a whole new light on a treatment that was once frightening (and largely ineffective).