Magnetic pulses could overcome depression, schizophrenia

February 8th, 2012 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 8 (IANS) Magnetic pulses could stamp out neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy and stroke after researchers unravelled how they work to stimulate the brain.

Jennifer Rodger, research associate professor at the University of Western Australia School of Animal Biology, and her team tested the therapy, known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) — on mice to find out how it can be applied to treating human neurological disease.

“Our work demonstrated for the first time that pulsed magnetic fields promote changes in brain chemicals that correct abnormal brain connections, resulting in improved behaviour and brain function,” Rodger was quoted as saying by the journal FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology).

“rTMS is an exciting therapy that stimulates the brain. It has shown promising results in treating the damaged human brain. Our research helps to explain how this therapy works on the cells of the brain,” added Rodger.

Previously, evidence of its usefulness was mainly from anecdotal clinical evidence, a university statement said.

Rodger explained that the structural and functional changes caused by the therapy in malfunctioning circuits were not seen in the normal healthy brain, suggesting that the therapy could have minimal side effects in humans.

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