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Critically Speaking

Sep 8, 2021

Dr. Therese Markow talks with psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Daniel Blumberger about depression that does not respond to medications and behavioral cognitive therapy.  Approximately one third of patients suffering from major depression are “Treatment Resistant”.

Fortunately, there are a range of brain stimulation techniques that help the majority of these patients. Electroconvulsive therapy or ETC, has evolved into a much more benign procedure than depicted earlier in movies and has the best outcomes in patients with major depression.  New techniques, involving stimulation of the brain magnetically, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) also can be effective and are being refined for broader use.  Depression is a serious and sometimes fatal disease, and there is hope for those resistant to pharmaceutical approaches.



 Key Takeaways:

  • Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, is a debilitating disorder that can be fatal
  • About a third of those suffering from MDD, do not respond to. pharmaceutical treatments.
  • The majority of these patients benefit from ECT, which now has been greatly improved.
  • A newer group of brain treatments, using magnetic stimulation, also are useful for Treatment Resistant Depression.
  • Sufferers should ask their physicians about access to these non-pharmaceutical treatments.



"It is very important to intervene early when someone isn’t responding to medication. The more treatments that someone doesn’t respond to, the less likely that they will respond to each subsequent course of treatment. The longer things linger, the harder it is to get someone better." —  Dr. Daniel Blumberger


Connect with Dr. Daniel Blumberger:

CAMH Profile: Dr. Daniel Blumberger  



Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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Daniel Blumberger

Date of appointment May 8, 2020

Date created May 3, 2020


Critically Speaking Guest Interview


Name: Daniel Blumberger

Phone: (415) 535-8501



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Please provide your professional affiliation and areas of expertise and you would like it to appear in our show notes.: Medical Head and Co-Director, Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto


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