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Brain Less Responsive During Depression, But Can Recover
ST. PAUL, MN -- A depressed person's brain does not function normally, but
it can recover, according to a study published in the August 11 issue of
Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology's scientific journal.
Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), the brain is stimulated with
an insulated electromagnetic coil held close to the surface of the head. "If
the stimulation is strong enough over the motor area of the brain, it will
produce a muscle movement, for example a thumb twitch," said Ebmeier. This
muscle movement can be recorded with an electrode over the muscle. A muscle
targeted with stimulation will twitch more after exercising it than after
rest. "Thus TMS can measure the brain's excitability in that it measures the
brain's responsiveness to a defined stimulus," Ebmeier said. TMS used in
this form is non-invasive, painless and safe. "