Neuromodulation research program for youth addiction and mental health

Each year, approximately 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem. Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and substance use than other age groups.

Depression is one of the most common mental illness, but current treatments are either ineffective or lead to side effects in up to 50% of youth. In youth, medications are often borrowed from adult population not accounting for age-related brain differences. New solutions are needed to address major gaps in treatment of youth mental health.

Dr. Farzan is collaborating with physicians, neuroscientists, engineers, and health authorities to develop and apply more precise and innovative methodologies to study the brain and address this gap. She is combining non-invasive brain stimulation and brain monitoring technologies to study what may underlie depression in young age, and how each treatment affects the brain. She is also developing non-invasive brain stimulation technologies for youth that do not respond to medications or behavioral therapy. This research has tremendous potentials for leading to introduction of a new therapy for youth who are failing currently available treatments.