Novel treatment approaches
The Black Dog Institute is leading the way in testing novel treatments for common mental health disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, as either an alternative or an adjunct to existing medication and psychological treatments. A particular area of focus is the evaluation of evidence-based brain stimulation interventions as alternative treatments to medication.
For people who have not had success with traditional treatment approaches, such as medication, these trials offer the chance to determine if alternative, non-invasive treatments are effective. Novel treatment approaches such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Direct Current Stimulation (DCS) and the use of ketamine offer an alternative approach to traditional medications for common mental health disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive brain, mild form of brain stimulation providing a treatment option for people living with severe depression and other psychiatric disorders. TMS uses a magnetic field, generated by a simple coil placed on the head to stimulate a specific area of the brain. The patient is awake during treatment, with no impacts on memory and no other significant side effects.
This project will evaluate if interactive mental health self-screening will be an effective way of determining if a young person is experiencing common mental health issues like depression and poor sleep.
This project is investigating whether repeated doses of ketamine are an effective, safe and feasible treatment for treatment-resistant depression in outpatients.
This project is investigating the effectiveness of tDCS as a non-medication treatment for depression, including bipolar depression.
A national and sustainable sports-based intervention to promote mental health and reduce the risk of mental health problems in Australian adolescent males.
Sydney Neurostimulation Clinic (SyNC)
The Black Dog Institute is proud to house the Sydney Neurostimulation Clinic (SyNC), led by internationally respected psychiatrist and researcher Professor Colleen Loo. The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation clinic (TMS) within SyNC provides treatment on a fee for service basis. TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders. A large body of research conducted worldwide and at our centre indicates that TMS has antidepressant effects when applied over the frontal areas of the brain. It is now an approved treatment for depression in Australia by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. The neurostimulation assessment clinic is also part of SyNC and offers a referral service providing a specialist assessment on the potential benefit to patients of brain stimulation treatments.