Pulled Apart: How Magnetism May Soon Help People Put their Lives Back Together

Valentine’s Day means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

For those lucky enough to be with a special someone, it’s a time for celebration. For those who aren’t with someone, the pressure to be in a relationship can become even more apparent. In extreme cases, feelings of loneliness can bubble up to the forefront. This, according to Louise Hawkley, PhD, a research associate in the psychology department at the University of Chicago, often leads to depression.

“Although depression doesn’t always lead to loneliness, feeling lonely is often a predictor of depression, and it certainly leads to sadness,” said Hawkley.

Allowing depression to go unchecked is a dangerous game. According to the non-profit Suicide.org, the number one cause that leads to suicide around the world is related to untreated depression. NeuroQore, a company out of Ontario, believes it can help more receive treatment. They claim to have found a way to cure depression through the use of magnetic pulses. Mehran Talebinjad, co founder of the company, discussed her method’s success in an interview with TechCrunch.

"We have an 87.5 percent remission success rate over drug-resistant depression," said Talebinjad.

The method that NeuroQore uses isn’t a new innovation. In fact, it’s built on Neurofeedback therapy, an idea that’s been around for more than twenty years. Tech Times discusses how that treatment has historically worked.

“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.”

The Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or rTMS, that NeuroQore uses, works similarly. However, instead of using audible tones through the ears, they use magnetic pulses that transmit tones directly to the brain. According to TechCrunch, there’s one other subtle difference in the process.

“NeuroQore also measures its results with biomarkers as physical evidence. Unlike with talk therapy or drugs, this takes out some of the guesswork of if and where the brain might be improving.”

The idea was pioneered following Talebinjad’s first performed brain surgery.

“Neuromodulation is super important and the brain is so complex,” he said. “I realized during this surgery there wasn’t a lot of effective approaches out there.”

While the treatment is still awaiting FDA approval, it has already been approved in the company’s native Canada. As with all treatments that currently exist for this and similar disorders, there is no guarantee that this method will work for every patient. However, the results, mixed with the lack of side effects that the company claims exist, make it a treatment worth exploring. A life without depression could mean something different to a lot of different people. Whatever the meaning, everyone should be lucky enough to experience that.

Are you suffering from depression and/or experiencing thoughts of hopelessness or suicide? There are a tremendous number of resources available online just like this to find the help you need.