Researchers at Lawson Heath Research Institute say a new therapy for those with treatment resistant depression could one day replace electroconvulsive therapy as the gold standard.

Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) works similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) but uses a focused magnetic field as opposed to electricity to induce a more focused seizure.

The seizure provides a therapeutic benefit to the patient.

Treatment-resistant depression is a severe form of depression that does not respond to traditional treatments like medication. It is common in patients with depression from bipolar disorder.

The clinical trial out of Lawson is the first randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of MST.

The trial is also being offered out of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of British Columbia.