30/06/2021

Categories: Biomedical and Medical Engineering, Undergradute

Biomedical Engineering A Cure for Depression

An interesting look at mental health engineering…could the field of biomedicine provide a cure for depression?

Biomedical engineering, depression, and mental health aren’t often talked about in the same sentence. But the latest research proves that biomedicine can be beneficial for the brain.

A team of biomedical engineers and psychiatrists are currently working together to find better, more effective ways of treating illnesses like depression. And it all starts with getting a more complete understanding of how the brain works when someone is depressed.

A response to the pandemic

With the rising number of mental health issues during the Covid-19 health crisis, it’s become apparent that we need to do more to help people cope. This is particularly vital during national or local lockdowns where people are expected to quarantine and self-isolate, shutting themselves off socially.

A group of scientists from the University of South Florida are now looking for new treatments for depression, seeking out new approaches that are both safe and effective.

There are many people who are diagnosed with this disorder, yet they do not respond to traditional medications. Through repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a treatment that uses a small coil on an area of the head to non-invasively reach the brain, it could now be possible to reduce symptoms in patients.

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Neuroimaging is the answer

Although rTMS treatment was previously approved by the FDA in 2008, there have never been enough consistent results through monitoring. It wasn’t possible to accurately map the brain’s responses to the treatment before.

This is where neuroimaging comes in. Through watching how the brain reacts to rTMS, we can now get a better understanding of how the brain works when depressed, and when stimulated by the coil.

The coil creates pulses through electromagnetic induction to interact with the cells in the brain. This changes the surrounding magnetic field to minimise the effects of depression.

The scope for mental health engineering

Biomedical engineering, depression, and mental health can be brought together through neuroimaging technology. This means a joined up approach from medical engineers and psychiatrists, and working towards a more collaborative future in the fight against depression and other disorders.

Through projects like this one at the University of South Florida, it’s possible to alter ways of working, providing the healthcare industry with better insights into how the brain works and how it responds to different treatments.

If this sort of work sounds interesting to you, a career in biomedicine could be the right direction for your undergraduate study.

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Is biomedical engineering the career for you?

The BEng Hons Biomedical Engineering programme the University of Bolton combines scientific and engineering principles to create and improve medical technology. If you’re skilled in science and want to make a difference in the healthcare industry, you could be the perfect fit for this degree.

Not only are we a Top 6 UK university for Teaching Quality in The Times Good University Guide*, but our students have voted us No.1 for Student Satisfaction in the North West for three years running!** So there’s nowhere better to begin your career in medicine.

We provide a friendly and supporting learning environment, and our passionate course leaders will get to know you as an individual, aligning the course to match your personal and professional development goals.

Welcome to #UniAsItShouldBe and find out more about joining our programme in September 2021. Head over to the BEng Hons Biomedical Engineering course page for full details.

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)1204 903 394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk.

 

*The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, 2020 and 2019

**Complete University Guide in 2021, 2020 and 2019

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BEng (Hons) Biomedical Engineering
Full-time
Mode of study
3 years
Duration
96
UCAS Points

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BEng (Hons) Biomedical Engineering with foundation year
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4 years
Duration
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BEng (Hons) Biomedical Engineering
Part-time
Mode of study
54 months
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