Oct 12, 2020

FDA Approves Magnetic Helmet For Treating Depression

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Circa 2013

“When the induced field is above a certain threshold, and is directed in an appropriate orientation relative to the brain’s neuronal pathways, localized axonal depolarizations are produced, thus activating the neurons in the relevant brain structure.”

First the machine is calibrated by placing it over a part of the brain that causes the subject’s hand to move. Then the coils are aimed at the brain region under treatment. The treatment lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, repeated over several weeks, and is noninvasive–all the person feels is a slight buzzing, and there are no side effects. This makes it a more palatable relative of other treatments that also target the brain directly, such as electroconvulsive therapy (formerly electroshock), or surgically implanted electrodes.

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