Depression treatable by electromagnetic therapy: study
Saturday 08 May 2010
Patients suffering from depression may find relief from treatments using electromagnetic stimulation, offering a possible alternative to mood-altering medications, a new study found.
The research, which was released on Monday, tested 190 patients who had previously failed to respond to antidepressant drugs.
Patients were given at least three weeks of magnetic stimulation. Scientists found that the treatment led to remissions for 14 percent of them, and that most remained in remission for several months.
The treatment, known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) offers future hope of a non-drug treatment for depression sufferers, although researchers said additional studies are needed.
"This study should help settle the debate about whether rTMS works for depression," said Mark George of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who led the research team.
"We can now follow up clues suggesting ways to improve its effectiveness, and hopefully further develop a potential new class of stimulation treatments for other brain disorders."
The treatment aims to jump-start the brain's mood-regulating circuitry by jolting the top left front section with an electromagnetic coil emitting 3,000 pulses over a 37-minute session.
Researchers said the treatments can be safely administered in a doctor's office with few side effects, unlike more invasive brain stimulation treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
The US National Institute of Mental Health-funded research showed that although the treatment "has not yet lived up to early hopes that it might replace more invasive therapies, this study suggests that the treatment may be effective in at least some treatment-resistant patients," center director Thomas Insel said.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Life & Style blogs
Low-cost metal 3D printer could be the next step in home manufacturing revolution
YouTube's most popular viral videos of 2013: From Tom Daley to Peppa Pig...
People who drink alcohol outlive those who abstain, study shows
Exercise most effective lifestyle choice for preventing dementia, researchers say
GTA 5 update: Content Creator released, online heists and story mode updates coming soon
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior Manager in...
£33000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Qualified or Part Qualifie...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This leading Big 4 Internati...
£44000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Want to progress...