Neuroprotective effects and therapeutic potential of transcorneal electrical stimulation for depression

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Wing-Shan Yu
  • So-Hyun Kwon
  • Kah-Hui Wong
  • Lee-Wei Lim

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2492
Journal / PublicationCells
Issue number9
Online published21 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021



Transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) has emerged as a non‐invasive neuromodulation approach that exerts neuroprotection via diverse mechanisms, including neurotrophic, neuroplastic, anti‐inflammatory, anti‐apoptotic, anti‐glutamatergic, and vasodilation mechanisms. Although current studies of TES have mainly focused on its applications in ophthalmology, several lines of evidence point towards its putative use in treating depression. Apart from stimulating visual‐related structures and promoting visual restoration, TES has also been shown to activate brain regions that are involved in mood alterations and can induce antidepressant‐like behaviour in animals. The beneficial effects of TES in depression were further supported by its shared mechanisms with FDA‐approved antidepressant treatments, including its neuroprotective properties against apoptosis and inflammation, and its ability to enhance the neurotrophic expression. This article critically reviews the current findings on the neuroprotective effects of TES and provides evidence to support our hypothesis that TES possesses antidepressant effects.

Research Area(s)

  • Antidepressant, Depression, Neuromodulation, Neuroprotection, TES, Transcorneal electrical stimulation

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