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Non-drug Depression Therapy Effective

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:46 AM

A new depression treatment that delivers mild magnetic stimulation to the brain significantly improves the symptoms and quality of life of patients with the mental-health disorder, new research shows.
The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association last week, found the percentage of patients with major depression who were able to return to normal activities more than tripled after treatment with “transcranial magnetic stimulation” (TMS).
About 58 percent of patients had a positive reaction to the therapy after five weeks. Nearly 40 percent experienced remission from their depression. And the number of patients reporting extreme problems with anxiety and depression declined by more than 42.2 percent, researchers said.
"The improvements we observed show that non-drug therapy with NeuroStar TMS not only reduces the symptomatic suffering of patients, but lessens the disability of depression with important implications for these individuals' ability to return to functioning effectively at home, in the workplace, and in the community," said lead researcher Dr. Ian A. Cook, with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles.
For the study, researchers monitored 307 patients who received the TMS therapy then assessed their symptoms by using a standard health survey that measures symptoms. They found statistically significant improvements in the patients’ reported symptoms and quality of life after five weeks of TMS therapy.
"These data reinforce the clinical efficacy of TMS T] therapy as a viable option for patients living with major depression who have not achieved or maintained symptom improvement with oral antidepressants," said Dr. H. Brent Solvason, of Stanford University Medical Center. "The most meaningful takeaway for patients is that TMS therapy has the potential to make them feel better, in addition to potentially allowing them to experience a level of physical and social functionality they haven't had with their depression."
TMS delivers pulsed magnetic stimulation to a region of the cerebral cortex, the region of the brain that controls mood. NeuroStar TMS Therapy has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with major depression who have not responded well to antidepressant drugs.
Depression affects about 20 million Americans annually.

© HealthDay

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TMS, which delivers magnetic stimulation to the brain, has been found to improve depression symptoms.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:46 AM
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