Research Study Volunteers Needed
We Need Your Help!
If you are one of the many veterans, law enforcement or first responders who have developed difficulty with depression, anxiety, or PTSD we would like to talk with you.
Prolonged exposure to events that may cause or threaten death or serious injury to you, a family member or close friend can change the way our brain works. For some professions such as military, police, firemen, or emergency personnel these events often occur on a regular basis. Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual assault can result in a number of problems. For example, emergency medical personnel often collect human remains; police officers are regularly exposed to details of child abuse; combat veterans have seen close friends killed or wounded. Prolonged exposure to these types of events changes our brain and it has nothing to do with being strong or weak – it has everything to do with how our bodies and brains work.
Sometimes these changes in our brain are reflected in physical problems such as stomach issues or sleep problems or in mood issues such as anxiety, depression, irritability, fear or anger. Historically, we have treated these problems with medication and/or counseling. Sometime this is helpful and sometimes - not so much.
This study is not only for veterans and first responders but is open to many who also struggle with depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
About IASIS (MCN)
We are using new technology
IASIS Micro-Current Neurofeedback (MCN)
At Trinity Integrative Care, we are using a new technology called IASIS Micro-Current Neurofeedback (MCN). This involves attaching very small electrodes to the scalp and a micro-current (three trillionths of 1 watt) is introduced. This current is so small it cannot be felt. A recent study by the University of California at San Diego with veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, depression, and anxiety showed promising results in reducing the symptoms they were experiencing.
This led us to begin this research with a larger population. This study is approved by the University of Texas at Tyler in the hope that IASIS MCN can help people who are struggling, and we believe the outcomes of this study will provide us with more information about how to help those facing similar challenges. We are hoping that you might be willing to participate in this study at no cost to you other than transportation to the MCN treatment site. We also have the ability to provide services in your home if transportation or other factors are make coming to our office problematic for you.
What is the study?
We want to test a safe and relatively new intervention for improving brain function and decreasing symptoms in persons with depression, anxiety, PTSD or a combination of these problems.
Study participants will receive MCN twice per week for 6-8 weeks (total of 12 sessions). Since we are interested in information from participants about how long the effects last, follow up will be completed about 10 weeks after the completion of the sessions.
The intervention uses a new technology: IASIS Micro-Current Neurofeedback (MCN) that is non-invasive and completely painless.
Participants will complete assessment(s) that generally only take 3-5 minutes each and agree to provide information about their response(s) during the study. This can be done with a few clicks of the mouse or on any smartphone.
Participants can elect to opt out of the study at any time.
Why is this Important?
Who can be involved?
We want to explore more cost-effective ways to alleviate depression, anxiety and PTSD. Medications are often taken for these conditions and are expensive and can adversely impact daily quality of life. We would like to establish a scientific basis for this new technology
Persons 18 or over who have depression, anxiety, PTSD or a combination of these symptoms.
We know that prolonged exposure to extremely stressful or traumatizing events changes how our brain functions. We are beginning to understand some of the problems that this exposure creates. An important part of survival of human beings is our bodies automatically entering into what is called the “fight or flight” state.
When threatened, our body begins to pump adrenalin, cortisol, and a number of other stress hormones and neurotransmitters into our system. We get a boost of energy, increased respiration and heart rate, more blood pumped to extremities, digestion shuts down and our pupils dilate. This part of the autonomic nervous system is called the sympathetic nervous system. Interestingly enough, a part of our brain recognizes danger before we are even aware there might be a problem. The autonomic nervous system has a counterpart called the parasympathetic nervous system and this is responsible for returning the body to a state of balance before the threat appeared. It is what calms us back down physiologically.
Repeated or prolonged exposure to what the brain considers threat will improve the functioning and neural connections of the sympathetic nervous system. This sometimes leaves people in a state of fight or flight response far too often, with a limited ability to achieve a healthy balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems . Triggers such as a backfiring car, fireworks, a song, smell or sound, intrusive thoughts – a million possibilities may activate that fight or flight response. We currently suspect that MCN can help the brain to maintain a better balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. This can result in a reduction of symptoms and we hope an improved quality of life.
Finally, we do not have enough evidence to know if this technology will be helpful for you. Everyone's brain is different and as with medication, everyone responds differently. What we do believe is that there is minimal risk of harm or discomfort and again, the only cost is transportation to the research site and a little time. If it alleviates any suffering, it is worth our time.