Depression, a severe psychiatric disorder, has been shown to respond to Magnetic stimulation. Depressive disorders ,which have not previously been
responsive to the typical arsenal of anti-depressents and mood stabilizers have been treated, with great promise, by treatments from T.M.S.
(transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). By subjecting patients to pulses of Magnetic Stimulation to highly specific areas of the brain which have been
associated with depression, patients with depression have reported excellent results. Though not a cure, T.M.S. is a new, effective treatment for
those who suffer from this debilitating disease. The T.M.S. treatment is currently undergoing studies at medical centers in the United States and
"Neural stimulation has been shown to be effective for treating depression," said Dr. Mustafa Husain, professor of psychiatry and internal medicine
and lead researcher for the UT Southwestern study site. "We've known that for years. The problem in the past has been that generalized neural
stimulation can cause significant side effects, such as cognitive or memory loss."
Not so with TMS, which produces the same amount of magnetic energy as magnetic resonance imaging and has little to no side effects.
"With magnetic stimulation, we can provide neural stimulation in a very specific, localized focal area, avoiding those parts of the brain that can
cause memory deficits," Dr. Husain said. "In the case of depression, the left dorsal and frontal part of the brain, which is associated with mood
regulation, is targeted."
Magnetic pulses are aimed at the left prefrontal cortex of the brain. Inside the brain, the magnetic pulses produce an electric field. This field, in
turn, stimulates the neurons in that region of the brain, yet the amount of electricity created in the brain is too small for her to feel and does not
trigger a seizure.
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This treatment holds great promise in treating depression. Although still in the testing stages, TMS seems to be of great benefit for those who
suffer from hard-to-treat forms of this debitating mood disorder. In some ways, TMS appears to be similar to other treatments such as ECT (Electro
Convulsive Therapy). Both TMS and ECT target the same region of the brain. The important difference is that unlike ECT (commonly known as Electric
Shock Treatment), TMS does not have the severe side effects. ECT recipients report memory loss and cognitive impairment. TMS recipients, on the
other hand, have no reported side-effects more severe than a headache. Indeed, this appears to be a treatment or therapy of great promise for the 18
million Americans who have been diagnosed with Depression.
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[edit on 5/10/2005 by benevolent tyrant]