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UC Reseacher Studying New Way To Treat Depression

Photo credit/Colleen Kelley

A researcher at the University of Cincinnati is studying whether electrical stimulation of the spinal cord can be helpful in treating certain psychiatric conditions, like depression. Francisco Romo-Nava, MD calls his research "neuroscience of the body in psychiatric disorders."

"We think that a relatively small electrical current applied through the skin, which can barely be felt by the patient and will not hurt them, will moderate the brain-body communication neural pathways in the spinal cord and will impact certain regions of the brain," Romo-Nava says.

Romo-Nava says he thinks of the interaction between the brain and the body as a self-regulating feedback circuit that is often disturbed in psychiatric disorders.

"If we can fix that disturbance, we may be able to improve both the mental and physical health of patients," he says.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss his research is University of Cincinnati Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences Assistant Professor, Research Institute at the Lindner Center of HOPE Associate Chief Research Officer and UC Health Physician Francisco Romo-Nava MD, Ph.D.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.