Psychotherapy, drug therapy, hypnosis, cold turkey -- whatever the remedy for addictions such as gambling, smoking, or narcotics, doctors agree there is no one quick fix.
However, a new tool from Israel promises to help alleviate addictions and at least a dozen other brain disorders, such as depression, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, in a non-invasive way with no side effects.
Maps of our brain's cortex are already well known, says Dr. Avraham Zangen, Brainsway's neuro-consultant, and stimulating specific areas of the brain electromagnetically is easy. Brainsway's new technology, deep TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), takes it to a new level.
"We invented the ability to reach deeper, to reach the relevant brain regions in psychiatric treatment," he tells ISRAEL21c.
Unlike electroshock therapy, which is still used extensively today on people with clinical depression who do not respond to other treatments, the more refined Brainsway stimulates only the area of the cortex related to depression, rather than the whole brain. "We gain the beneficial effect of shock therapy without the side effects," Zangen explains.
Trial patients in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas have already benefited from the treatment. Trials are taking place at 22 centers throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Israel including Harvard and Columbia universities. Once the device receives US Food and Drug Administration approval, it will start being sold, probably at first to private clinics.
The ability to stimulate different brain regions is not equivalent to discovering a new medication, he says. It is equivalent to developing a whole new set of drugs.
The first diseases expected to be tackled by Brainsway will be those for which conventional treatments do not work well. The company is also investigating ways to target the "craving" areas of the brain, by stimulating them in a negative way so the brain no longer craves harmful substances or behaviors.
Obesity is another area the Brainsway coil could potentially address, as well as autism, stroke and Parkinson's disease.
How will the hate-Israel crowd (many of whom are crowing about Sarah Schulman's incredibly unhinged op-ed in the NYT today, see here, here, and here) spin this to make Israel look as bad as possible?
- Those money-grubbing "Zionists" making expensive machines that the third world cannot afford
- Barbaric Zionists are pushing "Cuckoo's Nest"-style electroshock therapy
- All the research and development behind this was just to distract the world from Israel's crimes
- Jewish Zionists are building mind control equipment to make Arabs want to leave
- American aid to Israel being wasted on useless Israeli research
- Israel blockades essential medical equipment from Gaza
- See? I told you that Israel uses Joo-Rays!
- Depression is a "Zionist" myth created by the "Zionist" Freud to make money for "Zionists"
- The knobs on the device are made in the Occupied West Bank, all profits must go to Palestinians
- Send angry letters to Harvard and Columbia to protest their partnering with an apartheid company