Israeli scientists have developed a novel, non-invasive method to treat brain disorders, psychiatric conditions and addition.
The Brainsway device, which is worn like a helmet on the patient’s head, uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to target areas of the brain providing a safer alternative to traditional Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Traditional psychiatric drugs have always had a high failure and compliance rate among patients, many who complain about the drug’s side effects. The alternative, ECT, is an effective way to treat patients with various neurological and psychiatric disorders and has an up to 80 percent success, but the procedure is highly invasive and has a number of undesirable side effects.
The Brainsway device offers a similar therapeutic benefit to the ECT, but unlike ECT does not produce a seizure in the patient or require anesthesia or recovery time. “A much, much milder treatment,” Ronen Segal, CTO of Brainsway, said of the new technology. “Patients come for just 20 minutes and he gets the treatment and goes back to his daily chores.”
Rhonda, a patient with long-term depression who tried drug after drug to treat her condition, says that the Brainsway device gave her new hope for her depression. While other treatment options repeatedly failed, she noticed the difference with Brainsway right away.
“I started the treatment on Friday and by the next Friday I noticed a difference,” she said, pointing out that other family members also observed a positive change in her once she began using the Brainsway device at her doctor’s office.
In addition to depression Brainsway developers have targeted their device for a range of psychiatric conditions, brain disorders and addictions.
“We use different helmets for each disorder,” Uzi Sofer, CEO of Brainsway, explained. “We are also using a different pattern for each different disorder.”
Able to be adapted and personalized for each individual patient, Segal stressed that the Brainsway device could be a game changer in psychiatric and neurological treatment options.
He also said that he believes that this innovation could put Israel on the map as a leader in brain care, turning Israel into not only a start-up nation but a “brain nation” as well.