A new treatment that delivers brief but intense magnetic pulses to the brain may be as effective as traditional electro convulsive therapy in treating severe depression according to the study by the University of Illinois at Chicago psychiatrists.
“That is good news,” said to UIC News Doctor Phillip Janicek, Director of the Psychiatric Clinical Research Center, who runs the clinical trial, “because repetitive magnetic stimulation (rTMC) produced milder side effects than shock treatment.” Rapidly fluctuation magnetic fields are about the same strength as in MRI but more focused. The procedure lasts about 10-15 minutes during which about 1,000 stimulations occur.
Clinical depression is very common: up to 20% of the population experiences at least one episode over a lifetime. During depression, sleep is destroyed as well as daytime emotions and motivations. Magnetic therapy seems to be very promising.
Details of the study will be published in forthcoming issue of “Biological Psychiatry.” The abstract is available on-line at: www.elsevier.com/locate/biopsych