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New Device Helps People Battle Anxiety & Depression

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Folks who suffer from anxiety, insomnia, depression and pain and have tried everything to get some relief now have a new, alternative option in the Pittsburgh region.

It's called the Alpha-Stim.  It's a device that uses a unique form of cranial electrotherapy to create an alpha-state or calming state in the patient's brain.

It's an approach used by the Veterans Administration hospitals for about a decade to help veterans with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and pain, but now there are several doctors in Pittsburgh using it on the civilian population.

KDKA's Kym Gable went to the practice of Dr. Safdar Chaudhary in Export to see how it works.

"I knew that there's a medical methodology of medicine helping the neurotransmitters, or an electrical-based shifting of the brain's functioning," said Dr. Chaudhary.  "I wouldn't be convinced if my patients were not getting better.  So, first, I was able to see the science was there. I knew enough to know it would potentially work."

Electrodes applied to the earlobes transmit the signals.  Sessions last 20 minutes.  One of his patients, Terese Walsh, has experienced relief from a myriad of symptoms. She uses the Alpha-Stim about three times a week.

"I've battled depression, alcoholism, anxiety most of my life.  I'm 28 years sober, so for 28 years, I've been trying different therapies,"  said Walsh.  "And I was so excited for this cause I tend to use the least amount of medicine that I can.  This was just a wonderful opportunity. From the first second it hit my ears, I instantaneously feel it.  It's like a little blink and I feel the engergy.  It's just a natural, euphoric calmness. Not a high, but you feel relaxed. It helps me sleep. I just feel like a different human."

"The thing about Alpha-Stim is it's cumulative. So, the more you use it, the better it works. The same on the pain side,"  explained Rhys Thomas, a distributor from Solace Medical, LLC.

Many patients are experiencing indirect benefits, like weight loss.

"It's an indirect way of losing weight," said Dr. Chaudhary.  "You are calm and collected and focused and attentive and life is beautiful."   Everyone responds differently to Alpha-Stim.  Many patients opt for in-office treatments under a doctor's supervision, but the devices can also be purchased for home-use for $795.  There's a version for the treatment of pain that costs, the Alpha-Stim M, that costs more.

"It's life-changing. It really is!" said Terese.

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