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Hospital offering new treatment for major depression

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Journal staff

Bluewater Health is now offering a new treatment for patients experiencing symptoms of major depression, the hospital announced Thursday.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation that has been medically proven to help reduce symptoms of major depression in patients where other treatments and/or medications have not been as effective, a news release noted.

Adjacent to Bluewater Health’s Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), which has been successfully running for three years now, rTMS offers a less invasive treatment method. Treatments are provided daily (excluding weekends and holidays) over a typical treatment course of four to six weeks. The hospital has been offering this service to a number of eligible patients over the last few months. The majority of patients have seen their symptoms improving.

rTMS has been seen to have less risk of serious medical complications than a number of other medications used to treat psychiatric conditions.

“Sleep regulation is one of the most common changes patients notice,” says Dr. Emmanuel Anyaegbuna, Psychiatrist and Medical Director for Bluewater Health’s Mental Health & Addiction Services. “That is a good sign that the treatment is doing what it should be. After that, patients start to feel clearer, like a fog has been lifted, and later on see improvement in mood.” Bluewater Health is the first hospital in the Erie St. Clair region to offer this new leading-edge treatment and service.

“We are proud to now be offering a full range of outpatient mental health services to Sarnia-Lambton residents,” says Director, Mental Health & Addictions Services, Donna Morreau. Consultation occurs by referral from a psychiatrist who determines a patient’s eligibility.

Those referred must be 18 years of age or older. If deemed an effective treatment, patients may be offered rTMS maintenance treatments customized to their care needs.

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