Depression treatment via magnetic stimulation? Science fiction or reality?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat depression

Alain Cohen, MD, published a study this year in the 'British Journal of Psychiatry' under the title "Transcranial stimulation in depression". He compared TMS with the older, often discussed "electric convulsive therapy" (ECT), or electroshock.

Electroshock to treat depression

This old, rather invasive treatment method has been used more and more often in recent years in major types of depression which do not respond to antidepressant medication. In some cases, this is an effective therapy which can be useful when other alternatives no longer seem to have any effect. However, it is not the first choice in treatment. Psychotherapy, online self-help and antidepressants should naturally be tested first, as electroshock is a very invasive type of treatment.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is invasive, too

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is definitely not a simple treatment method yet. The technique is currently solely used under anaesthesia and is in a stage of scientific research, so it is currently not an option for the general public just yet.

Self-test for depression

Do you want to know if you are suffering from depression? Then take our free online depression test! It can help you to evaluate whether you might be suffering from depression or some other type of stress.

Paul Koeck, MD