Psychiatrists at Rush University Medical Center are testing a noninvasive technique that uses repeated short bursts of magnetic energy to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to treat major depression. The therapy is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Rush is enrolling patients in a clinical trial to determine if TMS is safe and effective.
"We think that this is landmark research for a new antidepressant treatment," said Dr. Philip Janicak, Rush psychiatrist and the principal investigator for the study at Rush. "If proven effective, TMS could signal a radical shift in our approach to treating major depression." Depression is commonly treated with antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for severe cases when patients do not respond to other therapies.
This study focuses on patients who have not responded to antidepressant medication for their depression. Rush is one of 16 academic medical centers participating in this nationwide clinical trial. Smaller preliminary studies using TMS produced an antidepressant effect and led to the current research project. Information from this larger, more rigorous trial will be provided to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support regulatory clearance of the Neuronetics TMS System for use in treating depression.
Patients who have been diagnosed with bipolar illness (manic depression) or obsessive-compulsive disorder are not eligible to participate in the trial.
For more information or to volunteer, call 1-800-345-8707.
Mary Ann Schultz | EurekAlert!
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