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    “Experimental Depression Treatment Is Nearly 80% Effective in Controlled Study” by Mandy Erickson

    Stanford University School of Medicine
    The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards: News Releases - Silver

    The news release is about a novel, effective treatment for depression. Called Stanford accelerated intelligent neuromodulation therapy, or SAINT, the treatment builds on an FDA-approved therapy, magnetic brain stimulation, but it’s targeted to a specific part of an individual’s brain and administered in higher doses on an accelerated timeline. The release includes the story of a participant who experienced substantial relief from his depression, which had plagued him for decades.

    What was the most impactful part of your entry?
    The fact that, after just a week, 80% of people who underwent the treatment were no longer depressed — as opposed to simply less depressed — was incredible. In psychiatry, treatments typically help less than half of patients, and they often merely lessen symptoms rather than result in remission.

    What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience?
    I understood more fully how debilitating and overwhelming depression can be. Most of the patients had suffered from truncated lives because of depression — for years, if not decades. The treatment allowed them to live full lives and do things that the rest of us take for granted, such as taking a dog for a walk or completing a bachelor’s degree.

    Alison Peterson