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Clinic Opens, Will Tackle Depression With New Treatments


A new clinic has recently opened in Washington state, operated by the Washington University School of Medicine. It has been created to treat patients considered resistant to traditional therapies for major depression. The clinic, directed by Charles R. Conway, M.D., will offer transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, deep brain stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation. While electroconvulsive therapy has long been utilized as a treatment for severe or resistant depression, the other therapies are relatively new to the treatment scene.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation works by placing a magnet on the scalp repeatedly for a period of several weeks. The magnet stimulates the brain in a way that the physicians hope will alleviate the depression. Deep brain stimulation, currently used in some cases of treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, works by placing small electrodes into parts of the brain, again in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Vagus nerve stimulation works by placing a stimulator under the skin that causes the vagus nerve to deliver signals to the brain, explains a recent news release from the University.

At least one in twenty cases of depression are considered treatment-resistant. Patients who don’t feel a lessening of symptoms after months of psychotherapy or medication should consider requesting a different treatment approach.

Read more: http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/21588.aspx

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