A blast of high frequency sound could help with depression, study finds

A new study has revealed that giving patients suffering from depression several short burst of high frequency sound could improve their mood.

According to dailymail.co.uk, scientists from the University of Arizona, USA tested the theory of using sounds waves to treat depression on 14 students. Half of the participants were given a blast of ultrasound for 30 seconds via a probe to the head. The other half got the same treatment except the sound waves weren't allowed to pass through their brain.

The students were told they were taking part in a pain experiment but instead the researchers measured their mood after the ultrasound treatment, using a scale called the Visual Analogue Mood Scale. This scale measures emotions such as fear, confusion, sadness, anger and tension, rating them out of 100. The closer to 100 they are, the more positive the emotions.

Those who went through the fake test experienced barely any change to their mood. However, those who went through the ultrasound treatment saw their score from the scale rise from 54.6 points before the test to 59.3 points just ten minutes afterwards.

The researchers hope that this form of treatment might replace anti-depressant medication in the future, thenewstribe.com reports. Until then, those suffering from depression may decide to go on a counselling course to get help from a professional.

Professor Nick Craddock from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: "It is interesting that ultrasound to the head has some effects on brain function and can influence mood. There is potential for it being helpful in clinical depression and anxiety. But this will need a lot more work and well-conducted clinical trials before it could be brought to the clinic."