Electromagnet therapy backed for depression

A new magnetic brain stimulation therapy should be a first-line option for all Australians with depression, psychiatrists say.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has been given the tick of approval by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, which is pushing for the therapy to be used more widely.

rTMS places insulated coils on the frontal and temporal region of a patient's scalp to run small electric currents through the cerebral cortex.

Unlike ECT, rTMS is non-convulsive and needs no anaesthetic. The patient is completely alert