In response to unprecedented demand, the UCLA Depression Research and Clinic Program is pleased to announce that we have doubled our capacity to offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation ("TMS") treatment, a neuromodulation treatment for depression. With neuromodulation treatments, clinical benefits come from influencing brain activity by using magnetic or electric fields rather than pharmaceutical medications. This complementary approach to treatment offers new hope to many people who have not been able to return to wellness despite best efforts with other interventions.
In late 2008, the NeuroStar TMS Therapy® System was the first TMS device to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression. The system has been judged to be safe and effective in the treatment of major depression in adults who have not experienced a satisfactory improvement with prior antidepressant medication. Both US and international organizations now include TMS as an evidence-based intervention in their practice guidelines.
Since March 2009, we have been able to offer this treatment at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in Westwood, with the support of a generous gift from The Friends of the Semel Institute. More recently, a generous anonymous supporter worked with the Friends to make it possible for us to purchase a second NeuroStar TMS system and launch our expanded service in March, 2014. This allows us to provide care for more patients and to undertake innovative clinical research projects. In tandem, we have worked with the Friends to garner support for the UCLA Neuromodulation Scholars Training Program; this allows us to train other physicians in the theory and practice of neuromodulation approaches, and expand the cadre of practitioners and researchers who are experienced with neuromodulation.