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Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I heard there is a new MRI treatment for depression. I cant

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I heard there is a new MRI treatment for depression. I can't find where or what the treatment is called. Have you heard of anything like MRI treatment for depression?

Thanks for your question, I'm happy to try to help you today.

About four or five years ago, there was a clinical study that showed that MRI treatment may be helpful for people suffering from depressive episodes during manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder.) This type of treatment was discovered by accident during a study where researchers were trying to compare the brains of people with bipolar disorder (manic depression) versus the brains of "healthy" people using MRI scans. After the study participants with bipolar disorder came out of the MRI, the researchers noticed that the study participants reported feeling better. It's believed that the electromagnetic pulses somehow create a change in the brain's activity, resulting in mood improvement during depressive phases.

You might be interested to read more of the study information here from Harvard University:

There are also ongoing studies regarding how MRI's can help people with major depression. You can read about the results of one such study here:

But this type of treatment is still in its infancy and scientists are still debating over its effectiveness. So it's not likely that the average consumer will be able to participate in these types of treatments (unless they are part of a study group) for at least a few more years.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience: Specializing in mental health counseling
Alicia_MSW and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the information. On "The Doctors" t.v. show they featured a woman who had had depression for years being treated by sitting in a chair with basically a MRI type device that was placed on her head. The doctor was able to treat her depression with a few treatments with that device. Have you heard of this treatment? I know this woman was in a trial group.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think I just found the information I was looking for. The device used is called the rTMS and was just approved recently by the FDA. Thank you for your help!
You're welcome! I'm sorry I was offline when you sent your follow-up question, but please let me know if you need any help in the future, I'll be happy to assist. Best wishes.

Patience :

Hello- Thank you for waiting. I’ve found something of the information you are seeking.

Scientists have been investigating the idea that magnets can relieve depression for more than a decade. Low-level magnetic fields seem to be able to counter depression. Studies have found that stimulating the brain with a magnetic field has a positive effect on the emotions, particularly for those who suffer from bipolar disorder. Another approach to using this technology is bringing it together with cognitive behavioral therapy. In this way, people with depression can learn to recognize which parts of their thinking contributes to negative moods and which sort of positive emotional imagery is most effective. Using MRIs for this purpose is still being researched.

To learn more about this, see: "MRI scans may help treat depression, new study says"

If you are currently seeking treatment for yourself or someone else, however, I would recommend looking into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a similar but more accessible technology. It uses MRI-strength magnetic stimulation to a part of the brain that controls moods and emotions.

Unlike MRIs, TMS doesn’t involve sliding into a dark claustrophobic tunnel. The magnetic energy is applied through a headpiece with a large electromagnetic coil in it, worn while the patient is sitting up in a chair. The FDA approved TMS as a therapy for depression in 2008. The treatment is typically administered daily for 4-6 weeks. For full safety and prescribing information, you can visit .

Dr. Tarique Perera was one of the first to develop and use TMS. He conducts research at Columbia University in New York as an associate professor. He also treats patients in the Darien and White Plains areas. For more information, you can call Contemporary Care at 203-321-5063

Philip Botkiss, MD, a psychiatrist practicing in San Diego, uses TMS regularly with his patients. See his contact info @

You can download an interview with Dr. Botkiss about the TMS treatment @

Dr. Ronald Wuest of the Institute for Personal Development said his Romeoville location is the first in the Joliet area to offer TMS, short for transcranial magnetic stimulation. It uses the same magnetic energy used in MRIs to stimulate areas of the brain into overcoming the effects of depression. You can go to the Institute for Personal Development’s website @

Listings for other physicians throughout the US who use TMS, go to There are also links with support and further information on this page.

I am happy to be of assistance to you. Please give a rating for your response so that I can get credit for my work. Then if you have more questions or need further clarification, just let me know and I will get back to you.

Best regards, Patience P.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The TMS information was exactly what I had been searching for. I had heard about it a few months ago but yesterday when I tried to find information on it I had forgotten what it was called. And my searches on MRIs and depression didn't bring up TMS....but I was also very tired and I could have missed it. But you covered every base!

I can't thank you enough!!!
You are most welcome. I am very glad to be of help. I would appreciate it if you would please give my y answer a rating as outlined on this page. Thank you for using Just Answer.

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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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