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What is it?
Our Unit for the treatment of anxiety and depression has the objective of improving the quality of life of our patients, and the function of their bodies.
Our treatment is based on neuromodulation, the field of science that uses procedures which can alter the activity of the nervous system. We alter the excitability of different areas of our brains and do so through external magnetic stimulation.
Through this procedure we are able to treat different neuropsychiatric disorders, notably depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, without using pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Julio Prieto, specialist in Clinical Neurophysiology, and Dr. Gabriel Rubio, specialist in Psychiatry, act as scientific advisors in our Unit.
Dr. Prieto, who has over 25 years of professional experience, based his doctoral thesis on transcranial magnetic stimulation, and is currently undertaking studies and research in this field.
Dr. Rubio, with a professional career of over 30 years, has additional experience outwith the clinical field in research and teaching.
We are pioneers in the application of this type of treatment, and have the best professional team, made up of neurophysiologists, psychiatrists, internists and other professionals, offering our patients a personalised therapeutic programme.
The technique used in our Unit is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). This is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates part of the brain through a magnetic field. This field moves through the scalp and the bone and alters cerebral activity. In this way, areas that function abnormally can be normalised.
It is a safe and painless method, that we apply on an outpatient basis, its utility having been accredited by international health agencies.
The procedure to follow with patients to undertake the treatment is quite simple. A total of 20 sessions are scheduled, each lasting 37 minutes.
It is a process that has hardly any side effects; the most common being a slight headache easily relieved with analgesics.
What does it diagnose? What does it treat?
When we suffer from clinical depression, our brain behaves in a specific way. Certain environmental signals capture our attention, almost always being negative, and never positive.
Through neuromodulation we change the pattern of certain parts of our brain, so that the individual can focus on other things. Among the potential mechanisms for action of this technique is the induction of plastic changes in the cerebral neuron networks and the increased availability of cerebral neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, directly related with depression. In this way, and without the need for using pharmaceuticals, the brain returns to functioning as it should.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised this type of technique for the treatment of depression in individuals who have not responded adequately to antidepressant treatment.
Our patients experience a significant reduction of their depressive symptoms without needing to take medication.
It can also be applied in cases of postpartum depression, a pathology that affects 16% of mothers. With our technique the side effects of psycho-pharmaceuticals are avoided.
OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Individuals affected by obsessive compulsive disorder have obsessive thoughts and unwanted repetitive behaviours that become a clinically significant disorder.
Therapy with transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to be effective in reducing compulsive behaviours, and in turn significantly reducing the levels of associated illness.
The procedure carried out is completely painless. A low frequency stimulus is used for twenty minutes, which is easy and fast to adapt to therapeutic sessions.
In addition to being demonstrated as an effective treatment for depression and OCD, the favourable results of recent research suggest an increased use of the technique in the near future.
This will lead stroke patients, patients with generalised anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia or addictions to benefit from the treatment through our technique.