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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation offers relief from depression: Expert



Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation offers relief from depression: Expert

Umesh Isalkar, TNN | Jul 28, 2013, 07.02 PM IST

PUNE: Rakesh used to feel low. Soon he lost interest in his job. He took to alcohol to feel better and things kept going downhill after his wife walked out. When he approached doctor for treatment of depression, he had already spent two years in depression.

Today, Rakesh has almost recovered and leading a normal and productive life. Thanks to a new treatment modality called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Rakesh is just one of many suffering from depression and one of the few who got it treated.

According to WHO ( World Health Organization) report depression is going to be second leading cause for disability and India is going to have maximum number cases in world by 2020. Problem however is not the illness but lack of awareness and stigma attached to it.

"Depression if not treated can last for more than a year. Treatment is necessary as depression can lead to professional, family, financial, and physical health related complications including suicide," said psychiatrist Swapnil Deshmukh of Shreeyash Hospital who has treated Rakesh with rTMS.

Various types of treatment modalities are available depending on severity of illness including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), medicine, electro convulsive therapy (ECT), and latest - rTMS ( re-petitive Transcranial magnetic stimulation). All these are standard, well proved and accepted worldwide -FDA approved treatment modalities.

"Around 20% of cases are mild and can be treated with CBT itself but remaining requires medications in addition to counselling. Around 30 to 40% of depression cases can be severe, resistant to treatment, and may require long term medications in these shock treatment (ECT) is very effective," Deshmukh said.

"rTMS is a resent treatment modality in depression and other psychiatric illness in which magnetic waves can directly stimulate affected- less functioning brain areas non-invasively. It is considered to be safest, non-medicine dependent, cost effective treatment modality getting very popular in west. Combination of above mentioned treatment work better," Deshmukh said

Usually, patients with milder depression respond within 3 to 6 weeks, but severe resistant depression may take longer duration, he added.

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