The American University of Beirut Medical Center has begun providing treatment with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a first of its kind in Lebanon and the Middle East. With the help of a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, Scientific Council Member Mark S. George, M.D., developed TMS as a new kind of non-invasive brain stimulation as an alternative for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in treatment-resistant depression.
In 1995, unable to get NIH funding for TMS, Dr. George’s NARSAD Grant allowed the work to gather important clinical information and served as ‘bridge’ funding to set the stage for the emergence of this novel form of treatment. Following the initial NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, numerous NIH, Department of Defense and VA awards valued at several millions of dollars furthered development of TMS until it received FDA approval in 2008. Dr. George is currently a distinguished professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina and serves on the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council, helping select the NARSAD Grant projects to be funded each year. Dr. George’s work was featured in the 2008 Foundation publication of Breakthroughs: ‘A Non-Invasive Way to Treat Serious Depression When Drug Therapy Fails.’