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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
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Neuromodulation technologies, coupled with pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, are the future of psychiatric care. These technologies include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation. Our goal is to be the premier provider of this care through our affiliated care sites, as well as a leader in the advancement of education and research in this area. As we refine and expand our ECT service and begin to collaborate with neurosurgery in a brain stimulation program for psychiatric disorders, we are building a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) service to accommodate one of the key advances in neuropsychiatry.

Patient Care

Depression affects approximately 14 million Americans each year. Research indicates that by the year 2020, unipolar depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide, second only to ischemic heart diseases. Depression has a high morbidity and mortality; each year, over 30,000 people in the United States kill themselves. In Illinois’ Cook County, 3.9 million individuals are 18 years or older and over 663,000 will suffer from major depression at some point in their life. The majority of these individuals will have a recurrence course to this illness, and 30 percent will not benefit or tolerate antidepressants. These are the individuals can find a benefit from TMS.

Our faculty members treat individuals with major depressive disorders with TMS, where a highly focused, noninvasive, pulsed magnetic fields is repetitively transmitted to the cortex, stimulating neurons and causing them to fire. For major depression, the transmission is to the left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain thought to be involved in mood regulation. It is thought that this stimulation causes a cascade of neurochemical events, including the release of neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine).

Contact Us

Michael Schrift, DO, MA
Chair of Neuromodulation

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