Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Magnetic stimulation show promise in treatment of bipolar disorder and depression

Posted in Science on 31st Oct, 2014 11:53 PM by AlexMuller

A research assistant at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated McLean Hospital noticed an intriguing pattern. One of her tasks was to escort study participants to and from an MRI machine where they received brain scans. All of the participants had bipolar disorder and were depressed;


The scans involved an experimental form of MRI that measured the effect of medication changes on their brain chemistry. “The research assistant noticed that people came out of the MRI saying, ‘I feel much better,’” remembers Michael Rohan, an imaging physicist at McLean and lecturer at Harvard Medical School (HMS). The assistant shared her observations with the lab director, who consulted Rohan because of his expertise in the biological effects of electromagnetic fields (see “Magnetically Lifted Spirits,” May-June 2004, page 18). Why, they wondered, might this type of MRI trigger a sudden lift in mood?

Rohan immediately zeroed in on one particular waveform within the MRI because it pulsed at a speed and strength that he suspected could affect neuronal activity. He built a small prototype that produced the waveform, and colleagues then conducted an animal study frequently used to test antidepressant medications. “Rats who have been given an antidepressant are more likely to swim or climb, instead of just floating and resting,” Rohan explains, and the rats exposed to his device swam and climbed more than the control animals. That suggested he had identified something significant.
He then set to work designing a device to administer this low-frequency magnetic stimulation (LFMS) to humans, and received review-board permission to test it. The resulting machine looks a little like a miniature MRI machine, but is just 14 inches wide and can sit on a tabletop. The patient lies on a gurney, head positioned on a headrest; the device then slides down over the top of the head to about the eyebrows, “so that patients can see out,” Rohan explains. “We wanted people to feel very comfortable.”
In an article published this past summer in Biological Psychiatry, Rohan and his colleagues, including senior author Bruce M. Cohen, Robertson-Steele professor of psychiatry, describe their study of 63 people diagnosed with either major depression or bipolar disorder. People received either one 20-minute treatment with LFMS or a sham procedure, and took standard mood-assessment tests before and after treatment.
Both groups experienced immediate and significant improvement in mood: people in the placebo group showed a five-point improvement on a 17-point scale, while the treatment group had an eight-point improvement. That suggested, Rohan says, that researchers managed to “capture and separate out” the placebo effect. “People who come to McLean Hospital and get to try new technology feel better just because they walked in the door,” he says. Once the placebo effect has been stripped away, the remaining three-point change is similar to the improvements many people see after taking an antidepressant medication for six weeks.

Tags: brainmental healthdepressionMRImood

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-11-01
This research shows just how complex phenomenon depression is. Clearly, one component and a quite significant one can be controlled by people's own mind as placebo effect shows. Perhaps some mental training could work much better than drugs
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-11-01
Yes, and this particular LFMS treatment needs further study. Perhaps, a small, quick improvement due to magnetic stimulation can be amplified by the mind to give much larger effect Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-11-01
What is amazing is that this treatment seems to have immediate effects and results in almost instant improvements. No other treatment can do this - I agree with the researchers that this should be tried with people in crisis Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2018-06-18 20:18:46
    Insight into role gut bacteria play in more
    Posted in Science on 2018-06-18 20:12:58
    Blood-based biomarker may predict whether you’ll more
    Posted in Science on 2018-06-17 23:45:17
    SpinLaunch raises $40M from Airbus, Google and others more
    Posted in Science on 2018-06-17 01:08:50
    New eyedrops could repair corneas, make glasses more
    Posted in Science on 2018-06-17 01:02:51
    121 giant exoplanets in habitable zones may more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me