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Health Highlight: Thu. 25, May.
Today’s Highlight(s): Stanford Medicine researchers discovered how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treats severe depression by correcting brain signal flow.
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Stanford Medicine researchers have developed a method of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect and reverse misdirected brain signaling between two parts of the brain responsible for body sensations and emotions.
The FDA-approved therapy, Stanford neuromodulation therapy (SNT), modifies brain activity linked to major depression by using high-dose magnetic pulse patterns.
Figure 1. A Pictograph of TMS
The patients who had the most severe depression and the most misdirected brain signals in a study of 33 patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder were most likely to benefit from SNT.
The study will be repeated with a larger patient population, according to the researchers.
Researchers compared brain scans from people with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder who received the SNI treatment to those who did not, as well as a control group of people without depression.
When the pathway is working properly, information about what the body is experiencing is sent to the part of the brain that deals with emotions. What this research found was that when this process is reversed, feelings of depression set the tone for the interpretation of the sensations.
“It’s almost as if you’d already decided how you were going to feel, and then everything you were sensing was filtered through that… The mood has become primary.”
—Anish Mitra, MD, PhD
Related Reads and Resources
Transcranial magnetic stimulation [mayoclinic.org]
Keywords 🏷️: #Depression #Research #MRI #FMRI #TMS #StanfordMedicine
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“Targeted neurostimulation reverses a spatiotemporal biomarker of treatment-resistant depression”
“Researchers treat depression by reversing brain signals traveling the wrong way”