This study examined the effects of electroencephalographic- (EEG-) driven photic stimulation on a case of depressive disorder, as measured by a psychometric test of mood states, EEG parameters, and several autonomic indices. The EEG-driven photic stimulation enhances the alpha rhythm of brain waves using photic signals, the brightness of which is modulated by a subject's own alpha rhythm. The patient was a 37-year-old businessman, who was treated for depression with medication during the 13 months prior to his first visit to our hospital. He underwent two sets of inpatient treatment sessions, comprising first 16 and then 18 treatment sessions. The treatments brought about the following changes: an improvement in general mood state, alpha rhythm increase, cardiac parasympathetic suppression, and increased skin conductance level. In addition, significant correlations between alpha rhythm increase and cardiac parasympathetic suppression or cardiac sympathetic predominance were observed with each inpatient treatment. Significant correlations between alpha rhythm increase, cardiac parasympathetic suppression, or cardiac sympathetic predominance and the improvement of general mood state were also observed. Thus, from these observations, it was concluded that the alpha enhancement induced by EEG-driven photic stimulation produced an improvement in the patient's depressive symptomatology connected with cardiac parasympathetic suppression and sympathetic predominance.
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