Magnetic seizure therapy (MST)--a safer method for evoking seizure activity than current therapy with a confirmed antidepressant efficacy.

: Since 1999, attempts have been made in the application of a new technique called magnetic seizure therapy (MST) or magnetic convulsion therapy (MCT) in the treatment of depressive disorder--as an alternative to electroconvulsive treatment. The technique of rapid rate transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is used to evoke intentional and repeated magnetoconvulsive seizures, though it requires the use of stimulation parameters practically inaccessible in commercially available rTMS magnetic stimulators. Magnetic convulsion therapy has been tested on monkeys as well as humans. A decisive majority of studies carried out both on animals and humans addressed the issue of safety of the MST method and confirmed that the side-effects (mostly of a cognitive nature) which occurred after magnetic seizures were weaker than those observed after electroconvulsive seizures. An analysis of available sources, however, does not confirm any proven antidepressant action of the MST technique. No experimental investigations have been carried out on animal models of depression. Clinical effectiveness had been confirmed in merely a few (perhaps three) patients with depression. The authors submit the results of the hitherto conducted studies on MST to critical analysis, particularly in the aspect of their antidepressant efficacy.

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