Transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression?

Sydney psychiatrist Professor Colleen Loo says transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been in developmental use in Australia for 17 years and has been proven a safe and efficacious treatment for depression.

To date, outside of medical research institutes, it is available in Australia only at private hospitals.

Professor Loo, from the University of NSW, says TMS is successful in treating depressed patients who don’t recover with pharmacology and who are not ill enough to need electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

“It fills the space between medications and ECT,” she said.

“There are some people who just don’t get well with medication. They have been treated for years with a number of medications and often with psychological therapy, but they just can’t quite get well.

“Their main option now is ECT treatment.”

A much milder form of brain stimulation than ECT, inducing