The movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” starring Jim Carrey as the protagonist played with a simple sci-fi concept of a medical procedure that uses electrical impulses to make the brain forget the memory of something terrible and depressing. This in-movie technology might just become a reality as the rTMS might just receive mainstream acceptance in the medical industry.
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Rafael Euba treated depressive Louise, not her real name, of her depression using the technology.
Euba said “rTMS is an effective treatment for intractable depression. The brain communicates through electrical messages.”
“Brain-imaging techniques show that patients with depression often display underactivity in the areas that regulate mood [the left frontal part of the brain and the limbic system]. rTMS increases the number and frequency of the messages in these areas.”
The US Food and Drug Administration had approved the use of the rTMS.
It uses a magnetic field created by passing pulses of electrical current through a coil of wire. It is encased in plastic and then put close to the left side of the head just above the temple. The treatment only has a small side effect in the form of headache or nausea.
Meanwhile, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence still believes that there is “uncertainty about the procedures clinical efficacy.” It has called for more research about the procedure.