Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders aren't just difficult to endure — there's also currently no specific cure that works for all patients.
In some cases, patients do not respond to the drugs at all. But startup company NeuroQore hopes to find a way to treat mental disorders, such as depression, without the use of drugs or psychotherapy.
NeuroQore claims to have found a way to cure depression through the use of magnetic pulses. The company is still in its early stages, but the group is confident that the method is effective, with a higher remission rate compared to the existing therapeutic methods for drug-resistant depression.
"We have an 87.5 percent remission success rate over drug-resistant depression," said Mehran Talebinjad, co-founder of NeuroQore, in an interview with TechCrunch.
The company's method isn't exactly a new concept. It builds on the current Neurofeedback therapy which has been in existence since the mid-90's.
Neurofeedback therapy entails stimulating parts of the brain to send a positive signal in the form of a pleasant tone through the ears.
This happens each time a desirable mood is achieved by the subject. The process is repeated over time in hopes of eventually achieving a permanently positive and healthy pattern, and has been used in clinics that did not rely on drugs as a primary treatment.
Aside from depression, neurofeedback has also been used to help sufferers of PTSD, ADHD, addiction and certain impulse control disorders.
NeuroQore's Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) works in a similar way, but with a slight difference. Instead of sending positive tones through the ears, they transmit the tones directly into the brain through magnetic pulses.
The company claims that the process does not have any side effects but still may not work with everyone. The installed system at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center in 2015 was successful in the first round of testing and is being prepared for the next.
NeuroQore is already approved in Canada, with headquarters set up in Ontario. It is currently planning for FDA approval.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that an estimated 17 million Americans suffer from depression during any one year period. It is a real mental illness that affects the different aspects of a sufferer's life.
The American Psychological Association stresses that depression is a treatable disorder when patients receive proper care from licensed mental health professionals, and that any person or family member suspected to be suffering from depression should be recommended to immediately seek professional help.
In many cases, a combination of psychotherapy and medication are given to patients to reduce the symptoms of depression.