QEEG Correlates of Auditory-Visual Entrainment Treatment Efficacy of Refractory Depression


  • David S. Cantor
  • Emily Stevens




Introduction. It is well established that the number of people diagnosed and suffering from depression is on the increase. Many of these patients are not responsive to firstline pharmacological intervention or simply cannot use medications for other reasons. As such, there has been a growing need for nonmedication approaches to treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of auditory-visual EEG entrainment (AVE) at a 14 Hz (beta) frequency to decrease symptoms of depression with corresponding changes in neurophysiology. Method. Sixteen participants ranged in age from 20 to 67 years and were screened utilizing the Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI–II) and broken into two groups of 8 (simulated, AVE treatment groups), with a cross-over design. Both groups were given the BDI–II and QEEG testing at baseline, 4 weeks following either AVE or simulated treatment, and then again after an additional 4 weeks and a switch in treatment in the cross-over design. Results. Results revealed significant reduction of depression only after the 4 weeks on AVE therapy of the BDI–II scores (p>.01). QEEG scores adjusted for normal age deviations demonstrate significant EEG change scores over time in cortical regions associated with mood regulation. Conclusion. The findings indicate that AVE therapy may be a viable nonmedication therapeutic intervention.