Thync today announced results from a study published via bioRxiv that show electrical neurosignaling delivered by its consumer wearable device reduces the brain’s response to stress in a chemical-free manner.
Thync uses electrical waveforms targeted to specific neural pathways to reduce the brain’s response to stress. The study, conducted on 82 volunteers in the Boston area, revealed that a 14-minute session using Thync’s electrical waveforms resulted in significant stress reduction, with 97 percent of the subjects stating the effects induced greater relaxation than the sham treatment.
“Our results show that electrical neurosignaling can significantly reduce sympathetic nervous system activity in the face of stressful conditions. After several years of R&D we found a way to tap directly into noradrenergic systems and the locus coeruleus, parts of the brain that regulate physiological and cognitive arousal in response to environmental stress such as the ‘fight or flight’ response. If you ask most people, they would say that directly modulating this part of the brain in such a way can only be accomplished with invasive procedures, drugs, or chemicals, but we show that is not true. We identified and targeted neural pathways that naturally communicate directly with this part of the brain,” said Jamie Tyler, CSO and co-founder of Thync. “Our brains already have the power to combat stress and achieve a calm state. We found a way to invoke these mechanisms on demand using approaches described in our recent report. For neuroscience, and for us, this is a big deal.”
In the study, researchers experimentally induced stress in subjects by exposing them to various environmental stimuli causing fear or cognitive pressure. When Thync scientists examined stress biomarkers in the saliva of subjects at different time points throughout the study, they observed something interesting. They found the levels of salivary α-amylase, an enzyme that increases with stress, as well as noradrenergic and sympathetic activity, significantly dropped for the subjects that received electrical neurosignaling compared to the subjects that received the sham.
“This particular observation was a breakthrough for us because it showed that we can suppress one of the body’s primary biochemical responses to acute stress by tapping into specific neural pathways,” said Tyler.
The subjects that received Thync electrical neurosignaling also had significantly greater self-reported relaxation, as well as reduced heart-rate variability and galvanic skin responses. The Thync device also made no difference, as compared to the sham, on cognitive performance or executive processing reaction times.
“The potential impact of our findings becomes rather evident when we study how the ability to decrease stress on demand affects people in more natural contexts – in their everyday life at home or work,” said Sumon Pal, Ph.D. neuroscientist and Executive Director of Thync. “We find that people just feel better when they can instantly relax when they want. The program only takes about 10 minutes to run, but the acute effects last from 30 minutes to an hour. People describe the sense of calm as similar to meditating or having a couple of drinks without being lethargic. We feel this can be a game changing approach to managing the daily stress we all experience day in and day out.”
The full paper is available via bioRxiv and provides a scientific description of how transdermal electrical neurosignaling significantly reduced the brain’s response to stress by acting on central noradrenergic systems. The neurosignaling approach used in the study was a culmination of a three-year R&D venture combining Ph.D. neuroscientists with experienced technology engineers.Those interested in hearing more about Thync or becoming part of the Thync community can visit www.thync.com.
Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur and investor Isy Goldwasser and Dr. Jamie Tyler, Associate Professor of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University, Thync is dedicated to giving people access to the power of their minds. Since inception, the company has raised $13 million in funding. Thync is headquartered in Silicon Valley, with an office in Boston. Thync board members include Goldwasser, Tyler, Blake Krikorian and Samir Kaul. More information is available at www.thync.com.
Kathy Johnson at Consort Partners for Thync