Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Advanced Composites
LeftNav
Aerospace
LeftNav
Amorphous Metal Structures
LeftNav
Analysis and Simulation
LeftNav
Asbestos and Substitutes
LeftNav
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
LeftNav
Automation Equipment
LeftNav
Automotive
LeftNav
Biomaterials
LeftNav
Building Materials
LeftNav
Bulk Handling and Storage
LeftNav
CFCs and Substitutes
LeftNav
Company
LeftNav
Components
LeftNav
Consultancy
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone
 
 
 
News

Researchers test magnetic stimulation as treatment for major depression

Emory University : 23 February, 2007  (Technical Article)
Are brief but intense magnetic pulses delivered to the brain more effective than placebo in treating patients who suffer from depression? A new research study at Emory University and 15 other sites across the U.S. will test the effects of a non-drug therapy called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS or simply TMS), to determine the effectiveness of this investigational treatment in improving mood.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), major depression is the second leading cause of disability worldwide, behind heart disease. In any given one-year period, nearly 19 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness. Major depression can significantly interfere with an individual's thoughts, behavior, mood and physical health. Most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment, although the majority, even those whose depression is extremely severe, can be helped.

'Treatments for depression include antidepressant medications and psychotherapy,' says William M. McDonald, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, and J.B. Fuqua Chair in Late-Life Depression. 'Patient who don't respond to these treatments may be referred to electroconvulsive therapy or ECT (electroshock therapy). Although ECT is often effective, there is a stigma attached to ECT as well as side effects, such as memory loss. TMS potentially offers an alternative treatment for patients resistant to medications.'

About 20 percent of depressed patients do not have a full response to antidepressant medications. In some, the medication becomes less effective after taking it over a period of time. In others, the medication may work effectively, but patients may not be able to tolerate the side effects. Those who fall into this category may be eligible for the transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

TMS is administered through electromagnetic pulses over the left front part of the brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, which is thought to affect mood. A coil delivers the pulses of magnetic energy, which in turn generate electric currents in the brain. In depressed patients, the prefrontal cortex typically exhibits abnormal electrical activity and decreased blood flow. Scientists hypothesize that the stimulation can energize that part of the brain and cause it to function normally again.

Researchers around the world have been testing TMS for almost 20 years in an effort to help understand the circuitry in the brain and how different parts of the brain function. 'The unique feature of TMS is that the magnetic stimulation is focused on and directed to one part of the brain,' Dr. McDonald explains. 'Medications tend to go all over the brain when taken. TMS is helping us to better understand the organization of depression because we target one specific brain region, and in many cases, see positive results.'

In this study, participants will have TMS for approximately 35 minutes a day for six weeks (Monday-Friday), followed by three weeks of tapered TMS. Participants will be randomly selected to either receive TMS therapy or an inactive treatment (which will serve as the control group). In a follow-up study, participants who are non-responsive during the initial treatment will have the option to receive active TMS.

Neuronetics, Inc., the maker of the magnetic stimulation machine, is funding this multi-site research study. TMS is not FDA approved and can only be used in an investigational setting, such as this research trial. This study will be followed by another large TMS study for depression, funded by the NIMH. Researchers say this study and others are important stepping stones for a FDA approval process.
Bookmark and Share
 
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
 
   © 2012 NewMaterials.com
Netgains Logo