One would expect that Dr. Mark George would surround himself with the pick of the litter of people in the neuroscience field who would love to work with him and be involved in research at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Colleen Hanlon was clearly the pick of the litter. She is exceptionably bright, hardworking and has an easy grasp of neuroscience and the implications for its use in various disorders. Her knowledge of the field of brain stimulation is encyclopedic, like Dr. George. She is an excellent teacher, is very patient and has a nice way of making difficult subject matter simple, despite getting her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Duke University, instead of attending a great institution six miles away. She did redeem herself by marrying a UNC (2017 basketball national champions) neurologist. Like Dr. George, Dr. Hanlon is a consummate researcher and her primary area of interest these days is in addiction, specifically with alcoholism. As there has been no significant improvement in the efficacy and treatment of alcoholism in the last 50 years, the potential of neuromodulation impacting this large, disruptive and often crippling condition is fascinating and I was encouraged to hear of her recent research.Read More
Over the years I have developed a deep sense of appreciation for those teachers who have been instrumental in helping me gain the skill and training I needed in areas I love. It probably started with my football coach, John Day. It was certainly true with my mentor, Dr. Jack Turner, who took me from being a barely academically eligible student to being his “best.” This belief became cultural during my martial arts training as one’s Sensei is given great respect for the knowledge and skill passed from teacher to student could mean the difference between that person and their family living or dying in ancient times. Dr. Mark George and his colleague, Dr. Colleen Hanlon rose to that level during my recent immersion in Dr. George’s Brain Stimulation Course. Although I attended the course so I would be up to date with the fundamentals, mechanisms and use of TMS, the title lets you know it was not just about rTMS. The CME portion of the course was focused on TMS but the rest of the course focused on Brain Stimulation which involved the ever expanding world of neuromodulation. Like the journal where he is the editor, Brain Stimulation, we received lectures and hand on experience with other areas like theta burst, vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation and tDCS.
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The third annual Clinical TMS Society meeting recently concluded in Toronto, and was one of the most stimulating and exciting meetings I have attended since the early days of Behavior Therapy. At the first Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies AABT meeting I attended in 1970, there were a group of psychologists who recognized the potential of behavior therapy and met to share their information and visit with others in this burgeoning field. That same atmosphere permeated the TMS Society meeting as many of the primary researchers in TMS, as well as many leading clinicians in the country, were there to present their data, share their experiences, and establish relationships with other professionals they had not previously met.
Over the years I have frequently compared the illness of depression to the illness of diabetes. I have done this because no one questions the biochemical or physiological basis of diabetes as a medical condition but people often do not see depression in the same biochemical way. I hope this explanation will make this point.Read More
Several patients have asked me about the "indication for TMS". They were not sure what indicated means, and were confused because they read articles about TMS being used for other conditions like PTSD, anxiety, Tinnitus and other issues. Unfortunately, this is a concept that is misused frequently in sales and even confuses a few of my colleagues...