First non-systemic and non-invasive treatment for depression now available

The Department of Psychiatry is pleased to announce that it is now providing treatment with the NeuroStar® Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy system.

TMS Therapy is a non-systemic (does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body) and non-invasive (does not involve surgery) form of neuromodulation that delivers highly-focused MRI-strength magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in an area of the brain that is linked to depression.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is a 40-minute outpatient procedure that is prescribed by a psychiatrist, does not require anesthesia or sedation, and patients remain awake and alert. The treatment is typically administered daily for 4-6 weeks.

"We are excited to be providing NeuroStar TMS Therapy and to be a part of this major step forward in psychiatry," said David Rubinow, M.D. Chair of the Department of Psychiatry. "Despite advances in treating depression, more than 30 percent of patients with this debilitating disease do not benefit from and/or are intolerant of antidepressant medications. Now, we have the option of offering patients the first and only non-systemic and non-invasive treatment for depression."

For more information about TMS, please contact Shirley Morter, Administrative Director of UNC Mental Health Specialists at 929-7449 or shirley_morter@med.unc.edu.

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