Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinic Offers Noninvasive Treatment For Major Depression

November 6, 2009

Committing to the promise it holds, Rush University Medical Center psychiatrists are now putting into action transcranial magnetic stimulation, the first FDA-approved, non-invasive antidepressant device-based treatment that is clinically proven for depression treatment, making them among the first to test the technique after having helped develop it.

Committing to the promise it holds, Rush University Medical Center psychiatrists are now putting into action transcranial magnetic stimulation, the first FDA-approved, non-invasive antidepressant device-based treatment that is clinically proven for depression treatment, making them among the first to test the technique after having helped develop it.

With drug treatment options that are ineffective or intolerable for many patients due to side effects, and current therapies providing no benefit to at least one-third of depressed patients, TMS now provides a treatment options for those who have been left without adequate therapy.

By delivering highly focused magnetic field pulses to the left prefrontal cortex through repeated short bursts of magnetic energy that are introduce through the scalp, neurons become excited in the parts of the brain linked to depression.

"Patients receive treatment in an outpatient setting and are able to return to normal activities right away," said Dr. Philip Janicak, professor of psychiatry and lead investigator at Rush for the clinical trials of TMS. The 40-minute, outpatient procedure requires no anesthesia or sedation, with patients remaining awake and alert during each of the daily administrations that last for 4-6 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.