Innovative treatments for depression

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The Melbourne Clinic introduces Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to treat depression

The Melbourne Clinic in Richmond has introduced an innovative program using a number of new treatment tools for patients with psychiatric disorders such as depression. The treatments including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation are particularly helpful for individuals who have struggled to achieve wellness with traditional therapies alone.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a potential new treatment for depression and other psychiatric disorders. TMS has been extensively studied for at least 15 years, with a large number of clinical trials establishing that it is an effective treatment for patients with depression.

TMS photoResearch continues to explore its use in other conditions such as schizophrenia, autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Notably, TMS has few side-effects and is mostly very well tolerated.  TMS is now provided in clinical programs in North America, Asia, Europe and increasingly in Australia ­– including Healthscope’s Northpark Private Hospital, The Victoria Clinic and The Geelong Clinic.

These treatments are available under the supervision of Dr Nitin Dharwadkar as part of a Melbourne Clinic Research Project – a study of the effect of dose on response to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in major depression.

Dr Dharwadkar explains “TMS uses a focussed magnetic field to activate specific areas of the brain. Repeated TMS stimulation progressively alters brain activity improving depression in some patients. TMS requires no anaesthesia or medication and generally a patient will be able to go about normal activities immediately following the treatment.”

Most treatment programs involve daily administration of TMS, Monday to Friday for around four weeks.  Each treatment session typically lasts between 30 to 60 minutes.

General Manager of The Melbourne Clinic, Andrew McKenzie said that the introduction of TMS to the clinic is a welcome one. “We believe in offering our patients a range of treatment options and our TMS treatment will complement our established therapies and provide our patients with a new form of anti-depressant treatment,” said Andrew.

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