Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, was approved by the FDA for treatment of major depression in October 2008. A newly published observational study evaluating the effectiveness of TMS treatment in more than 300 patients at 42 clinical settings across the United States has found that most patients responded well to this intervention, with few adverse effects (Carpenter LL et al, Dep Anx 2012;29(8):587–596).
A major thrust of much psychiatric research is to identify predictors of suicidality, in hopes of intervening earlier to prevent this devastating outcome. In a recent study, a Danish group made a surprising contribution to this endeavor by identifying Toxoplasma gondii infection as a possible precursor to suicidal behavior.
Dr. Aiken is the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report; director of the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina, where he maintains a private practice combining medication and therapy along with evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments; and Assistant Professor NYU Langone Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a research assistant at the NIMH and a sub-investigator on clinical trials, and conducts research on a shoestring budget out of his private practice. Follow him on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.