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March 14, 2005

Resetting the Brain - Bipolar

Time magazine has a good article on transcranial magnetic stimulation - that, while focusing primarily on depression, at least provides a positive update on the proceedure.

Resetting The Brain - Can a pulsing magnet really change a personality? Doctors--and patients--are cheered by early tests

"Martha, a mother of two from Connecticut, has suffered from depression for the better part of two decades. She has been to psychiatrists and psychologists and tried dozens of medications, but nothing seemed to work very well or for very long. Then last June she heard about an experimental treatment being tested at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University. It involved aiming a powerful magnet at a spot on the brain to reset the wayward neural circuits that keep Martha, and millions like her, stuck in the downward spiral of depression.

Figuring she had little to lose, Martha agreed to the treatment and soon found herself sitting in a chair under a squat, gray crescent that administered a series of magnetic pulses to the top of her head. The treatment lasted for one hour, five times a week, for six weeks. "I started to see signs of change by about the third week," she says. "By September, I was on top again. I could take pleasure in things like food and sunshine." Returning to the institute every once in a while for repeat sessions of what researchers call repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), Martha has kept her symptoms at bay for the better part of six months.

See full story: Resetting the Brain

For more information see:

Transcranial Maganetic Stimulation Looks Hopeful for Bipolar Disorder

TMS and Bipolar Disorder - Information


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