External stimulation of the trigeminal nerve (eTNS) is an emerging neuromodulation therapy for epilepsy and depression. Preliminary studies suggest it has an excellent safety profile and is associated with significant improvements in seizures and mood. Neuroanatomical projections of the trigeminal system suggest eTNS may alter activity in structures regulating mood, anxiety, and sleep. In this proof-of-concept trial, the effects of eTNS were evaluated in adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for these commonly co-occurring conditions.
Significant improvements in PTSD and depression severity were achieved in the eight weeks of acute eTNS treatment. This novel approach to wearable brain stimulation may have use as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy in these disorders if efficacy and tolerability are confirmed with additional studies.
Source: PubMed – NCBI