Brain Awareness Week
March 12-18, 2018 is Brain Awareness Week (though some places “celebrate” for the entire month). According to the Society for Neuroscience, the Brain Awareness Campaign is a global campaign first launched by The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives that celebrates the human brain by bringing together scientists and communities and creating public awareness around scientific advances in brain research that are changing our world today and into the future.
Want to celebrate Brain Awareness Week? To find Brain Awareness Week events near you check out the Dana Foundation BAW calendar.
Brain Science Past, Present, and Future
This topic has inspired us to discuss how Carrier Clinic® approaches mental health and addiction treatment with brain science. Here’s a look at what Carrier Clinic has done in the past, is currently doing in the present, and hopes to do in the future in regard to brain science.
First employed in the late 1930s—but not to be confused with the harsher “shock treatments” of decades past—Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) uses smaller electric currents to trigger brief seizures in the brain; “resetting” brain chemistry and effectively reversing symptoms. ECT treatment is a safe, effective, and humane option for such severe mental disorders as psychotic depression, Bipolar Disorder, catatonia, aggressive dementia, and treatment-resistant Schizophrenia. It is typically administered three times per week to patients under general anesthesia.
As patients are unconscious or asleep during ECT, nothing is felt during the procedure. After ECT treatment, it is common that a patient may experience headaches and muscle aches, which are usually mild and tolerable and treatable with over-the-counter pain relief medication.
Correcting a common misperception, Dr. Umesh S. Mehta, Chief Medical Officer at Carrier Clinic, observes that “ECT doesn’t have to be the last step in the process…it’s quick, effective, and at times it can carry less risk than psychotropic medications.”
Nexalin Clinical Trials
Carrier Clinic is currently conducting a clinical trial designed by the University of Pennsylvania to test the effectiveness of Nexalin transcranial stimulation (TCS), a non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The trial is expected to be completed by the end of June, with data available soon thereafter.
Launching later this month, Carrier Clinic will be conducting its largest clinical trial to date, designed by the University of Arizona to test the effectiveness of Nexalin to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and sleep issues, associated with early recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Half of the trial will examine patients recovering from opioid addiction; half will examine patients recovering from alcohol and Benzodiazepines.
Carrier Clinic has taken an early lead in offering this drug-free, non-invasive, and FDA cleared substance abuse treatment. Developed by the California-based medical technology company of the same name, Nexalin involves a device that, according to the manufacturer, “emits a patented, frequency-based waveform that interacts with structures of the midbrain that help to regulate and stabilize neurochemicals.” Described as “a safe, natural option” in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, the Nexalin treatment is administered in the clinical setting by a trained and certified technician, in multiple sessions generally lasting 40 minutes and extending over the course of two to four weeks. Since the treatment involves no sedation, patients can resume all normal activities immediately after undergoing a Nexalin session.
Anecdotally, patients report that the experience is painless and quite relaxing.
“Carrier Clinic’s dedication to the pursuit of advancement in the brain health field—particularly brain sciences—is evident in the fact that over 80 staff members are certified to help participate in the trials,” said Andrew Walsh, Clinical Trials Coordinator at Carrier Clinic.
Exploring New Innovations
Carrier Clinic is pleased to announce that, in order to further advancement in technology and brain innovation, the organization is forming a cohort of Princeton University interns for multidisciplinary backgrounds to serve as an impromptu “think tank” to consider and explore potential innovative projects, such as facial recognition software to improve the quality of telepsychiatry, and wearable devices that alert healthcare providers of patients’ risk of relapse.
Learn More About Carrier Clinic
Carrier Clinic is an NJ psychiatric hospital and recovery center. Want to learn more about our over 100-year history in mental health treatment and rehab programs?