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Magnets can help ease depression

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Magnets may cure depression in people who have not responded earlier to drugs, a new study has said.

A research team from Medical University of South Carolina, US, has revealed that people who had magnets attached to their heads to activate certain parts of the brain were more likely to report relief from depression than those treated with a similar device without a magnet.

The study involved 190 people, of which just under half were randomly assigned to receive the transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy. These people had to wear a helmet like device that applied a magnetic current to the front section of their brain for around 37 minutes a day for three weeks.

The others wore the same helmet for the same duration but the magnetic field was blocked.

The findings revealed 14 percent of those who received the real magnetic treatment reported relief from depressive symptoms, compared with five percent who received the sham treatment.

"The results of this study suggest that prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is a monotherapy with few adverse effects and significant antidepressant effects for unipolar depressed patients who do not respond to medications or who cannot tolerate them," Dr Mark George, lead author of the research, was quoted as saying by

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