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New TMS clinic offers noninvasive treatment for major depression

Rush University Medical Center has opened the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinic to offer patients suffering from major depression a safe, effective, non-drug treatment. TMS therapy is the first FDA-approved, non-invasive antidepressant device-based treatment clinically proven for treatment of depression.

Psychiatrists at Rush University Medical Center were among the first to test the technique and Dr. Philip Janicak, professor of psychiatry and lead investigator at Rush for the clinical trials of TMS, helped to develop this therapy.

The TMS therapy system delivers highly focused magnetic field pulses to a specific portion of the brain, the left prefrontal cortex, in order to stimulate the areas of the brain linked to depression. The repeated short bursts of magnetic energy introduced through the scalp excite neurons in the brain.

Depression affects at least 14 million American adults each year. Researchers estimate that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide. According to Janicak, drug treatment options can be ineffective or intolerable due to side effects. Current antidepressant therapies are not beneficial for at least a third of depressed individuals, leaving many with a lack of adequate treatment options.

"Patients receive treatment in an outpatient setting and are able to return to normal activities right away." TMS therapy does not require anesthesia or sedation and patients remain awake and alert. It is a 40-minute outpatient procedure that is prescribed by a psychiatrist and administered daily for four-to-six weeks.

"TMS therapy is a safe and effective alternative for patients who suffer from major depressive disorder and are not getting satisfactory improvement from antidepressant medications," said Janicak.

For those interested in more information about the TMS clinic at Rush, call 888-762-2222.

About Rush University Medical Center:

Rush University Medical Center includes a 674-bed (staffed) hospital; the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center; and Rush University (Rush Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College).

Rush is currently constructing a 14-floor, 806,000-square-foot hospital building at the corner of Ashland Avenue and Congress Parkway. The new hospital, scheduled to open in 2012, is the centerpiece of a $1-billion, 10-year campus redevelopment plan called the Rush Transformation, which also includes a new orthopedics building (to open in Fall 2009), a new parking garage and central power plant completed in June 2009, renovations of selected existing buildings and demolition of obsolete buildings. The new hospital is being designed and built to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and use sustainable building materials. Rush is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It will be the first full-service "green" hospital in Chicago.

Rush's mission is to provide the best possible care for our patients. Educating tomorrow's health care professional, researching new and more advanced treatment options, transforming our facilities and investing in new technologies—all are undertaken with the drive to improve patient care now, and for the future.

Deborah Song | EurekAlert!
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