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Study: ‘Magnetic therapy’ for depression shows promise

A report in England’s Daily Mail mentions “magnetic therapy” — a promising new form of depression treatment that doesn’t involve brain-altering drugs or invasive procedures.

The report cites a study by researchers from the University of California Los Angeles, who tested NeuroStar TMS Therapy. The treatment works by beaming magnetic pulses through the skull, which trigger small electrical charges that spark brain cells.

Tests on more than 300 patients with severe depression found 58 percent achieved a positive response while more than a third went into remission.

The study was released at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Lead researcher Dr. Ian Cook is quoted as saying: “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.”

According to the report, the therapy could be a desirable treatment for patients because it’s targeted to one area of the body, as opposed to antidepressant medications that are released into the blood and can cause side effects such as nausea and sexual dysfunction.

Studies have also linked anti-depressants classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Zoloft and Prozac to birth defects in babies born to women who take them during their pregnancy.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

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