Some really exciting possibilities in the Brain Technology area has been under research in Israel over the last few years by a company called Brainsway. They are using Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to apply short currents to specific parts of the brain using a patented electromagnetic coil next to the scalp. This technology is based on patents filed by the National Institute of Health and Brainsway Ltd.
This coil has to be positioned properly to activate the neurons in the area being targeted. The device is positioned over the patients head, and looks a bit like a cap hair dryer in a beauty salon!
While there have been clinical trials conducted in Israel for some time, it has only just been given the thumbs up by the FDA for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder this year for patients that have not had success from previous anti-depressant medications in the current episode. Here is a short video showing how the cap device is placed over the head, with pulses penetrating through the skull and into the neurons below.
It requires no anesthesia, nor hospitalization – just 20 minute sessions over a 4 week period, and it doesn’t have any long-term side effects like some medications.
Brainsway has been conducting studies on use of this technology on other types of brain disorders including addiction, schizophrenia, obesity, eating disorders, obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and PTST (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Studies are still underway in these areas.
In September, Brainsway received approval by the FDA to do a multi-center study on how the device may be used in smoking cessation programs. The study will take place in 10 medical centers in the US, Europe and Israel involving 220 patients.