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Landmark $7.4 million gift pioneers breakthrough brain stimulation treatments for mental illness

TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2012 - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation today announced a landmark $7.4 million gift from the Temerty Family Foundation to fund promising new treatments for persistent and severe mental illness, including Canada's first clinic using Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST).

 


MST, which uses magnetic pulses (vs. electricity) to externally stimulate specific regions of the brain, along with other non-invasive treatments being developed at the newly established Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention, are poised to significantly expand scientists' understanding of the brain and improve the range of treatment options available.

 

The Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention - launched today at a dedication ceremony at CAMH's Queen Street West site - is part of the hospital's groundbreaking Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, home to one of the largest concentration of psychiatric and addictions researchers in North America.



Clinical research studies are underway at the Temerty Centre, which houses other brain stimulation treatment and research programs, including Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), a non-invasive treatment that is effective in 30 to 50 per cent of patients and, because magnetic stimulation is targeted to a small area, patients experience little to no side-effects.

"While ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) has been refined and remains very effective for people with severe, drug-resistant mental illness, it can also have significant side effects, including memory loss. As a result, only one per cent of people who could benefit from ECT try it and 70 per cent only take one treatment," explained Dr. Jeff Daskalakis, Director of the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention. "The support of the Temerty family is advancing new treatment avenues and we're confident that rTMS and MST - which use significantly lower levels of energy to stimulate the brain and have far fewer side effects - will help improve treatment options for depression and other serious mental illnesses

By supporting scientific talent, including Dr. Daskalakis, the Temerty family is championing efforts to make non-invasive brain stimulation treatments widely available in Canada and beyond. "Therapeutic brain stimulation has vast potential to revolutionize mental health care and to change the lives of countless people for the better. My family and I are proud and excited to support CAMH and the trailblazing work of its scientists," said Jim Temerty. "Now is the time for new solutions and CAMH is the best place to fast-track these promising new treatments from the lab to the clinic."

"The Temerty family has shown tremendous foresight by investing in the leading-edge clinical research underway at CAMH," said Darrell Louise Gregersen, President and CEO, CAMH Foundation. "CAMH is so deeply grateful for their confidence and support. Together, we will change the world."

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (www.camh.ca)
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addictions. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (www.supportcamh.ca)
CAMH Foundation raises funds to support CAMH's excellent patient care, insightful research and innovative programs to better understand, treat and prevent mental illness and addiction.

Media Contact:

Michael Torres, CAMH, 416.595.6015; or by email at media@camh.ca

Denise Koulis, CAMH Foundation, 416.535.8501 x 34395 or 647.999.5986 or denise.koulis@camh.ca

CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
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