PDF version of the newsletter can be found here
Note from the PAC Members
This monthly newsletter is brought to you by NINET’s Public Advisory Committee (PAC) members. The PAC consist of members of the public, clinic patients, lab personnel, and Dr. Vila-Rodriguez. We meet once a month to discuss improvements within the clinic, and our goal is to spread the word and educate the public about mental health, rTMS, and its usage in treating psychiatric disorders.
We hope that this newsletter serves the purpose of enlightening and keeping you updated with news, events, current research studies, as well as clinical trial results within the NINET-IMH Clinic & Laboratory that might benefit you and your treatment at the clinic.
NINET’s Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Members
New Faces in the NINET Clinic
The NINET-IMH Clinic is pleased to welcome Rose, our Medical Office Assistant, who joined the Clinic after working as a receptionist at the Mood Disorders Associations of BC. Rose handles the scheduling of rTMS appointments and group medical visits with Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez.
You can reach Rose at 604-827-1361 or via email at email@example.com from 9 to 4 pm weekdays.
MSP Coverage for rTMS in BC?
Did you know that Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) is publicly covered in Quebec, Sasketchewan, and Alberta, but not yet here in British Columbia?
You are invited to share your opinion in regard to rTMS treatments and its public health coverage in BC. The responses will only be shared in aggregate as part of a nomination process to the HTAC. Visit the link below if you wish to share your opinion anonymously: bit.ly/NINET-IMHSurvey
NINET-IMH Clinic & Laboratory has led the submission of a nomination to the Health Technology Assessment Committee (HTAC) for rTMS to be funded by the Government of BC for the treatment of depression in order for the public to have access to the treatment at no cost. As part of this nomination, it is critical for the public, especially the rTMS patrons, to voice their opinions:
Recent Publications / News
- Effective Therapy for Depression Difficult to Access in Canada: CTV News
- Description: This CTV News article features patients who benefit from rTMS treatments, and it also discusses about the limited coverage of the treatment across Canada.
- Can Researchers bring a Brain-Stimulation Remedy for Depression out of Clinics and into the Home?
- Description: The Globe and Mail article discusses about new findings that suggest faster and cheaper rTMS treatment, and a Canadian scientist who thinks that portable devices could be the tipping point it needs.
- Trajectories of Response to Dorsolateral Prefrontal rTMS in Major Depression: A THREE-D Study
- Description: This paper aims to characterize response trajectories for patients with MDD undergoing rTMS on left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Four trajectories where identified, which include: non-response, rapid response, higher baseline symptoms, and lower baseline symptoms.
Ask an Expert: Mindfulness
Our research expert Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez shares why you might want to add mindfulness to you and your family’s routine. (source: bit.ly/VCHRIMindfulness)
Q: My life is so hectic right now, and I still need to plan for the holidays. I heard that mindfulness can help with managing stress, but what is it exactly?
A: The holidays can be a stressful time of year, and mindfulness may be able to help you. Mindfulness has roots in eastern religions, yoga and non-religious meditation. Modern mindfulness practices can be described as the act of focusing one’s attention on the present moment and noticing sensations. So, for example, during a meal, try to focus on the texture and flavour of your food, instead of thinking about the gifts you still need to buy or make after you finish eating. Doing this regularly could also improve your mood and ability to focus, which can help you juggle all of the things on your to-do list.
Q: I tried yoga a couple of times. Was I also practicing mindfulness?
A: Yoga and mindfulness share some common characteristics, but they are not one in the same. Some yoga practices emphasize physical movements, such as building strength and flexibility. Yoga instructors may also encourage mindful behaviours, such as focusing on your breathing. Others may include an aspect of meditation, which can be similar to mindfulness. While it can be an ingredient in both meditation and yoga, mindfulness is essentially about experiencing the present moment in whatever form.
Q: Can mindfulness help me cope with low moods, or depression and anxiety?
A: Yes, it certainly can help with managing stress, anxiety and low moods. One of the treatments we often use with our patients at the NINET Institute of Mental Health in Vancouver is mindfulness. Patients who practice mindfulness often report becoming more receptive to what is happening in their lives, being able to draw more pleasure from what they do and an overall improvement in their moods.
Q: My kids are doing mindfulness exercises in school. Is this a good thing for children to do?
A: It can potentially be good for kids to practice mindfulness to help draw their attention to the here and now, and away from all of the stimulation that frequently surrounds them, such as technology and advertisements. The practice can have a positive impact on their developing brains by helping strengthen their ability to focus and tune out distractions. It can also assist children with becoming more aware of their moods and reactions.
Q: What are some tips for starting a mindfulness practice?
A: Mindfulness can be practiced by anyone at any age, and without any prior training. It does require some attention, particularly nowadays when we are constantly surrounded by distractions, such as our smartphones. The main idea is to be both physically and mentally present in the moment.
Here are a few exercises that can help you get started or add to your current mindfulness practice:
- Commit a certain amount of time each day or week to practicing mindfulness, such as during two meals per week.
- Put away your phone and computer when you start your practice.
- Take a five-minute walk and become aware of your feet moving over the ground and your breathing.
- When out with friends, concentrate on the conversation instead of allowing your mind to wander or checking your phone.
- Before going to bed, set aside some time to relax without the presence of screens.
- Take a moment each day to focus on your five senses—seeing, touching, smelling, tasting and hearing.
Current Research Studies
NINET Laboratory is currently accepting participants for three different clinical research trials:
- ASCERTAIN-TRD Study compares the effectiveness of three different treatment options for those dealing with treatment-resistant depression.
- TMS-fMRI Study is looking to identify biomarkers of response to rTMS treatment in people with depression.
- CORRECT-BD is a study that assesses the efficacy and tolerability of Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) as an alternative to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for Bipolar Depression.
To learn more about our current studies and eligibility for enrolment, please visit https://ninet.med.ubc.ca/research/
Group Medical Visit (GMV)
Any questions in regard to your rTMS treatments?
Dr. Vila-Rodriguez leads a weekly Group Medical Visit (GMV) every Tuesdays at 3-4 PM in Room 2NA/B (2nd floor).
This is an opportunity not only to ask any questions that you have about your rTMS treatments, but also to gain insights from others who are undergoing the same treatment.
If you would like to book a spot for the GMV, contact Rose at the Admin Office (Room 1816), or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Referrals: NINET-IMH Clinic accepts referrals from physicians for individuals who have had an unsatisfactory response to drug therapies for major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or psychosis.
The NINET-IMH Clinic referral form is found here: https://med-fom-ninet.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/11/Ninet_IMH_Referral-1.pdf
- Follow us on Twitter for more updates: twitter.com/ninetlab
- Visit our website for more content: ninet.med.ubc.ca
- Email us with your clinic-related questions at: email@example.com
- Send us your feedback on the newsletter at: firstname.lastname@example.org