Illustration: bulentgultek/istock

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A Twinge of Relief
Approved by the FDA for mildly treatment-resistant depression in 2008, transcranial magnetic stimulation "delivers pure energy into the brain," says Stephan Taylor, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Magnetic coils are placed on one side of a patient's head to induce electrical currents that cause neurons to discharge. Therapy typically involves four to six weeks of 30- to 40-minute sessions administered five times a week in a doctor's office and can be as effective as taking antidepressants—with fewer side effects. Says Taylor, "The idea that we're able to ameliorate depression with a magnet is a pretty cool thing."

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