NARSAD-Grant Pioneered Treatment Helps Depressed Patients Get Their Lives Back

Tarique Perera, MD, Columbia University
Tarique Perera, MD

NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee Tarique Perera, MD is continuing medical science studies on a new technology used to treat depression called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Originally pioneered by Scientific Council Member, Dr. Mark George, with his NARSAD Grant funding, the treatment was approved by the FDA in 2008 to treat depression when anti-depressants don't work, or when a patient cannot tolerate those drugs' side effects.

The treatment involves placing a coil around the head that submits magnetic pulses to the brain, targeting the left pre-frontal cortex (the area that controls emotional response). Dr. George says doctors using the therapy should acknowledge the field is in its infancy. "But viewed optimistically, this is a game-changer." George estimates that three people a day are recovering from depression because of TMS and "getting their life back."

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