Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. In this randomized control trial, High Amplitude Low Frequency – Music Impulse Stimulation (HALF-MIS) as an adjunct treatment for depression was superior to traditional interventions alone.

2. Participants in the HALF-MIS group reported significant decreases in depressive symptoms with mild side effects seen in two participants.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Depression impacts over 300 million individuals globally, with high rates of re-occurrence. Treatment of depression is typically highly individualized, consisting of lifestyle changes, medications, and/or therapeutic interventions. High Amplitude Low Frequency – Music Impulse Stimulation (HALF-MIS) was originally utilized in populations with neurological disease but has shown positive impacts on patients with mood disorders.

This randomized control trial compared antidepressant therapy with a combination of antidepressants and HALF-MIS in adult with depression. Participants were included if they were medically stable, over the age of 18, and met criteria for mild to moderate depression. Exclusion criteria included pregnancy, previous HALF-MIS treatment, psychotic symptoms, and suicidal or homicidal ideation. The primary outcome was severity of depressive symptoms as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)-17 and HDRS-6.

A total of 38 participants were included and randomized into the antidepressant-only group (n=20) or the antidepressant with HALF-MIS group (n=18). There were no significant differences in age or gender between the groups. There was a significant reduction in both HDRS scales for the HALF-MIS group as compared to the control (p=0.004). Two participants in the HALF-MIS group experienced unexpected symptoms during their first session, including crying and feeling chilled. However, this study was limited in that there was a small sample size as well as heterogeneity in the antidepressants used between participants. Nonetheless, HALF-MIS represents a non-invasive adjunct to traditional depression interventions which may decrease symptoms and improve quality of life.

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