TMS produces the same amount of magnetic energy as a standard MRI machine. However, instead of helping doctors look inside the body to diagnose disease, the pulses of magnetic energy produce an electric field that researchers believe causes positive changes in mood. "The amount of energy delivered to the brain is very small and very focused," Janicak said. Patients remain fully awake during the 45-minute outpatient procedure and can go about their normal activity before and after the procedure. TMS is performed without anesthesia, and it does not cause memory loss as is sometimes found with the use of ECT. Patients who qualify for the trial will initially receive 30 sessions over a period of six weeks.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that depression affects more than 18 million adults every year. Even with recent advances in antidepressant medications, a significant percentage of patients experience treatment-resistant or recurrent episodes of depression. Some patients cannot tolerate medications.
This new research study, which involves hundreds of patients nationwide, will be a pivotal trial. If the results of the study are positive and the TMS procedure is approved by the U.S. FDA, an entirely new treatment option for patients suffering from depression would be available.
Rush is inviting qualified patients to volunteer to participate in this study. To qualify, patients must be:
Patients who have been diagnosed with bipolar illness (manic depression) or obsessive-compulsive disorder are not eligible to participate in the trial.