transcranial magnetic therapy (was RE: American Psychiatric Asso

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Mon, 18 Oct 1999 16:29:14 +1000

> wrote:
> > I'm interested in an experimental treatment that's "between" drug
> therapy and
> > electroshock. It's called transcranial magnetic therapy and so far
> claims to
> > be low risk. Anyone here know about it?
> >
> > Sherry
Sherry, I'm Dr Labcoat, pleased to meet you and thanks for coming by today. If you'd just like to step into this room through here, I'll show you our setup.

[Sherry and Dr Labcoat walk through into white tiled room with gleaming stainless steel equipment]

Dr Labcoat: This is our Transcranial Magnetic Therapy chair. TMT for short. Just sit yourself down, get comfortable, put your head back into the headrest. That's good...

Sherry: What are those things? Giant walkman headphones? Or manhole covers?

Dr Labcoat: Ah ha, yes, I guess they do look like a pair of manhole covers. They are a little more sophisticated than manhole covers, however [chuckles]. These are the electro-magnets (the 'M' bit in the name).

Sherry: But they're so big...

Dr Labcoat: Well, yes, that's the experimental part of the therapy. We have found that it is very difficult to measure any real healing effect from smaller magnets; therefore, we are experimenting with the effects of much stronger magnetic fields on the brain.We orient opposite poles of the two large, round magnets you see, toward opposite hemispheres of the skull, close the circuit, and create the field. The hypothesis is that the attractive forces created have a unifying effect on mental processes.

[Dr Labcoat walks over to a large switch-handle on one wall]

Dr Labcoat: Lets begin shall we? You'll be feeling far more unified in moments. I'll just pull this lever and

[...WHAM... the sound of two manhole covers banging together... a fine red spray washes across Dr Labcoat]

Dr Labcoat: [wiping face] Of course, there are a few teething problems, which we are looking into...