A county hospital has been selected as one of the first in the country to offer a new specialised treatment to people suffering with depression.
Berrywood Hospital, in Northampton, will be treating patients with Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), which is a non-invasive procedure that uses strong magnets to target areas of the brain associated with mood regulation.
The magnet generates brief magnetic pulses, which pass painlessly into the brain, similar to an MRI machine, and can produce long-lasting effects.
Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust medical director, Dr Alex O’Neill Kerr, said: “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to offer this treatment to our patients.
“It is a treatment for adult patients with severe clinical depression who have found antidepressants have failed repeatedly to control their symptoms.
“We are the only NHS trust to offer rTMS on a clinical basis and not part of a research trial which allows us to tailor the treatment to individual patients.
“This new treatment offers a choice to patients not previously available on the NHS and has the potential to ease the suffering of people with resistant depression.
“It is a fantastic example of new technology making a real difference to patients’ lives and we are looking forward to seeing positive results from this ground breaking technology.”
Patients need to have been properly diagnosed and assessed by a psychiatrist before they are referred for treatment.
The trust said a course of treatment usually consists of four sessions per week over four or five weeks. Each session lasts between 30 and 40 minutes, with benefits often noticed from the first week.