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New UC Davis Treatment for Depression Uses Magnets to the Head

New UC Davis Treatment for Depression Uses Magnets to the Head

CBS 13 Sacramento reports that scientists, led by a UC Davis researcher, are trying a novel technique to deal with issues of the mind that plague people: deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (DTMS). Using magnetic pulses sent through the brain from a helmet, the scientists hope to address problems such as obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder, and quitting smoking.

UC Davis psychiatrist Dr. Guohua Xia has already received FDA approval. He said, “The result is better than what I expected before the trials started… Theoretically it can suppress, for example, the eating center, or suppress the rewarding system to suppress some urge to eat more.”

The sessions last 40 minutes; Xia said that it takes roughly a month to cure a major depressive episode. He said, “It’s very exciting to me to be doing this research, because I believe that it can benefit many, many patients.” Xia’s machine goes deeper than devices using the technique since the 1980’s did. The long-term effects of the practice are still unknown.

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