IMH doctors get trained in new therapy

rTMS is a method of therapy for persons with medication-resistant hallucinations, schizophrenia, depression, and nicotine-dependence

A year after purchasing a rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) machine, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) (IMH) is all set to put it to use after a group of postgraduates and faculty members received hands-on training in the therapy.

K. Muralidharan, medical superintendent and professor of psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, provided hands-on training for postgraduates and faculty members over two days.

“rTMS is one of the therapies for persons with medication-resistant hallucinations, schizophrenia, depression and nicotine-dependence. It is for neuro-stimulation. A year ago, we purchased the machine at a cost of ₹18 lakh with the National Health Mission fund through the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation. We were waiting to bring it into use for want of training for our residents and faculty members,” P. Poorna Chandrika, IMH Director, said.

While it was available in a few centres in the private sector, the IMH was the only institute to have rTMS in the government sector in the State, she said.

She said NIMHANS had offered to train the staff as they were already working with the institute on psychotherapy. “We had two days hands-on training for nearly 20 postgraduates and five to six faculty members. This will help us start the process of offering this therapy, along with pharmacological treatment for patients, so that we can have good results,” she said.

The therapy was covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, she said.

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