Last updated on February 2018

Cranial Electric Stimulation to Modify Suicide Risk Factors in Psychiatric Inpatients.


Brief description of study

This pilot study aims to investigate whether a treatment called cranial electric stimulation or CES can decrease risk factors for suicide. The specific CES device we will use is called Alpha-Stim. CES will be used in addition to usual treatment (medication and group therapy).

Detailed Study Description

Suicide is still a major issue in the United States and all around the world. There are many reasons for people attempting suicide and the major modifiable risk factors are depression, anxiety, insomnia, and agitation. The standard treatment for all suicidal patients includes medication, admission to a hospital and reducing the risk factors. Medications have potential side effects and concerns about the drug interactions. One of the biological treatment alternatives to medication is cranial electric stimulation. This technique uses a device to stimulate the brain through electrical current. Using an Alpha-Stim device, current is applied to the brain using skin electrodes which can be easily clipped on to the earlobe. The amount of current used is very low and is 1/1000 th of the current used for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and 1/10 th to 1/20 th of the 1-2 milliamperes used with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Our goal is to examine the safety and efficacy of this device when used as an add-on or adjunctive treatment to the usual treatments during the inpatient stay.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02846740

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