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Depression study to find if magnetic therapy may help teens

Depression study to find if magnetic therapy may help teens (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If a teenager struggles with moodiness and depression, a breakthrough study at the University of Cincinnati could help.

The study was open to any teen or young adult in the Tri-State between the ages of 12 and 21-years-old. Child and adolescent psychiatrists at UC were looking for those diagnosed with depression who didn't respond well to traditional medication.

Researchers were trying to find out if a specific kind of therapy might work better for some teens to improve symptoms of depression, things like sleep, energy, concentration, appetite and motivation. It's called transcranial magnetic stimulation. A magnetic system is placed around the brain and a precise dose is activated to a targeted part of the brain thought to improve mood.

Dr. Jeffrey Strawn at the University of Cincinnati said, "So what we are actually doing is stimulating an area of the brain that's thought to be underactive."

The therapy has already been in use for a number of years and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in adults. Currently, researchers want to find out how well it works in adolescents. There was some evidence that teens who were depressed may carry that into adulthood. It is unknown if early treatment could make a difference for life.

Dr. Strawn is child and adolescent psychiatrist who said magnetic stimulation did not appear to have any dangerous side effects to the brain. It's given in short, daily sessions over a number of weeks.

"The idea is that through magnetic stimulation of that area of the brain we are actually able to normalize some of the brain function, or dysfunction, that underlies the depressive symptoms," said Dr. Strawn.

For details on this study call 513-558-2931. If people qualify they are paid for time and travel. It is an 8 week study, each treatment takes about 40 minutes.

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