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A Potentially Powerful Treatment for Refractory Depression

By Eugene Rubin M.D., Ph.D.

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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression since 2008. This therapy uses magnetic fields to influence the electrical activity of specific brain regions.

Conventional TMS sessions are about 40 minutes in length and apply up to 3,000 magnetic pulses per session; a full course of treatment typically consists of five daily treatments a week for four to six weeks.

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