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Priory’s Harley Street Wellbeing Centre to offer innovative drug-free approach to depression with the launch of magnetic stimulation therapy

Medication and psychotherapy are effective treatments for many of the 300 million people worldwide who suffer depression - but not all.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) uses a pulsed magnetic field to induce a small electric current in part of the brain, which increases the connectivity of brain cells and is a highly effective treatment for depression.

This is an outpatient treatment which has minimal adverse effects.

Priory Healthcare, which runs the largest independent network of mental healthcare hospitals and clinics in the UK, is now introducing rTMS to treat patients with depression who are resistant to medication or have unacceptable adverse effects from medication.

It has invested £100,000 to integrate state-of-the-art equipment into its Harley Street Wellbeing Centre. A specialist team of staff will co-ordinate and manage the rTMS programme, and support patients through their treatment.

The NICE-approved treatment is increasingly popular due to its non-invasive nature. There is increasing evidence to show it is an effective treatment with minimal adverse effects.

Magnetic fields are generated by a figure of eight coil, which is placed just above the temple. Studies have shown that this treatment can lead to a significant decrease in depressive symptoms.

In 2016, there were 64.7 million prescriptions for antidepressants,1 and although these are beneficial to the majority of people, they do not work for every patient, and in some patients, they can cause significant adverse effects.

rTMS is a non-invasive treatment – some patients may experience scalp warming and a mild headache (which responds to paracetamol). The treatment session lasts about 50 minutes. The patient can read or watch TV during the treatment. Typically, patients have treatment five days per week for three to four consecutive weeks. It does not cause any drowsiness, and patients can return to work and drive immediately after a treatment session. Improvement is seen in as soon as two weeks after commencement of treatment.

Dr Leon Rozewicz, Medical Director at Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street, says; “The Priory Harley Street Wellbeing Centre offers the full range of medical and psychological treatments for depression. rTMS is a treatment of proven efficacy for patients who do not respond to antidepressants and talking therapy. It is also useful for patients who are sensitive to the adverse effects of medication. It works within two to four weeks and does not have significant adverse effects.  At the Harley Street Wellbeing Centre we offer treatments for depression that are designed for the unique needs of each patient.”

NICE (National Institute of Clinical and Healthcare Excellence) assessed rTMS by looking at the outcomes of seven studies which involved more than 6,000 patients. They concluded that rTMS was both safe and effective. In 2007, NICE approved it as a treatment of depression. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also approved rTMS.

Priory Hospitals and Wellbeing Centres are fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and provide therapy and treatments for conditions including depression, anxiety, stress, anger management, eating disorders, addictions and relationship counselling.



 Priory’s Wellbeing Centres

Across the UK, Priory’s Wellbeing Centres bring swift access to patients in need of mental healthcare. Priory is an approved provider for all the UK’s leading private medical insurers. Most outpatient therapy services are covered as standard by the majority of insurers, meaning people may be able to access treatment at no additional cost. Priory also provides self-pay options for individuals and families, along with arrangements for businesses looking to support their employees. Too often people do not realise their health insurance will cover a mental health assessment and treatment.

Priory Wellbeing Centres are also located in Birmingham, Southampton, Canterbury, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester, London (Fenchurch St) and Oxford. The Priory Group also opened its first overseas Wellbeing Centre, in Dubai.

About Priory Group

The Priory Group is the leading provider of behavioural care in the UK, caring for around 30,000 people a year for conditions including depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and self-harming. The Group is organised into three divisions – healthcare, education and children’s services, and adult care. The Priory Group is owned by NASDAQ-listed Acadia Healthcare, which is recognised as a global leader in behavioural health.


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