Patients suffering from depression may find relief from treatments using electromagnetic stimulation, offering a possible alternative to mood-altering medications, a new study found.
The research, which was released on Monday, tested 190 patients who had previously failed to respond to antidepressant drugs.
Patients were given at least three weeks of magnetic stimulation. Scientists found that the treatment led to remissions for 14 percent of them, and that most remained in remission for several months.
The treatment, known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) offers future hope of a non-drug treatment for depression sufferers, although researchers said additional studies are needed.
"This study should help settle the debate about whether rTMS works for depression," said Mark George of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who led the research team.
Full AFP story here.
I say any treatment that doesn't involve drugs is always good.
I've never had to live with anyone with depression but I do have a friend who has exhibited symptoms of depression. She's never had the symptoms diagnosed by a doctor but I guess it is not serious enough to require treatment. For her, what helped was for her to be around people and to get herself involve with her children's activities and when she got a job, the incidence of the "blues" was dramatically reduced.
The electromagnetic stimulation therapy suggested in this article seems very promising. People don't always respond positively to the mood-altering drugs, and for some it is more a trial and error before they find the drugs that help them with their depression.
Added to the fact that there is no drug involved in this treatment, is that it does not involve any invasive procedure. Just a 37-minute session of 3,000 pulses emitted from an electromagnetic coil, at a doctor's office with few side effects.
If I were suffering from depression I'd want to try this treatment over any drug to treat my problem.