Sydney Neurostimulation Centre
The Sydney Neurostimulation Centre (SyNC) is a research, clinical assessment and treatment centre which is led by the internationally respected psychiatrist and researcher Professor Colleen Loo. Professor Loo has expertise derived from 20 years of experience in the treatment of mental illnesses using evidence-based brain stimulation interventions.
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinic 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.
Download our TMS factsheet for more information about the treatment.
The Neurostimulation Clinic offers a referral service providing a specialist assessment on the potential benefit to patients of brain stimulation treatments including electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation and direct current stimulation as well as other novel treatments for depression such as ketamine.
The assessment cost is partially rebatable through Medicare.
A referral letter from a psychiatrist or GP is required. Referrals can be emailed to email@example.com or fax (02) 9382 8208 (Attn: Prof Colleen Loo).
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) training for clinicians and researchers
Professor Loo is directing a 2-day course in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) theory and practical techniques. This course is suitable for clinicians and researchers who want to better understand TMS and gain practical skills in administering TMS. The course will be presented by leading international experts in neurostimulation, mental illnesses and neuropsychiatry including Course Director Professor Colleen Loo and members of the Sydney Neurostimulation Centre.
Course date: 15 -16 June 2017
Location: Black Dog Institute, Hospital Road Randwick
Course description: Certificate Course in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Lectures will be held in the mornings, after which participants will be divided into two groups for the practical workshops during the two days of the course. Please note that places are limited and the first 16 people to register will be allocated to an afternoon workshop session with additional registrants being allocated to an early evening session.
The cost for the 2-day course is $1700 (including GST) or $850 for psychiatry trainees/students. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea are included.
Please contact Angelo Alonzo on (02) 9382 2987 or firstname.lastname@example.org for registration details.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) training for clinicians and researchers
The Black Dog Institute is running a 1 day course on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Participants will learn the principles of tDCS, practical techniques including hands-on practice and its effects in psychiatric disorders.
This course is suitable for researchers, and clinicians interested in learning about new, emerging treatments.
Course date: 17 June 2017
Location: Black Dog Institute, Hospital Road Randwick
Course description: Course on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
The cost for the 1 day course is $850 (including GST) or $450 for psychiatry trainees. Please contact Angelo Alonzo on (02) 9382 2987 or email@example.com to register your interest.
Registration cancellations will only be accepted in writing via email. Cancellations must be received at least two weeks prior to the scheduled course/workshop. Registrants will be offered two options:
- transfer the registration to another person (organisers must be notified in writing by email)
- receive a refund minus a AUD$60 processing fee.
Cancellations received less than two weeks but more than five days prior to the scheduled course/workshop will receive a 50% refund.
Cancellations received less than five working days prior to the course/workshop will not be refunded.
Please note: Where the course is cancelled by the Black Dog Institute due to low registration numbers, participants will be offered an alternate date or a full refund.
Certificate courses in electroconvulsive therapy for psychiatrists and health professionals
Professor Loo is directing a 2-day Advanced ECT course designed for the experienced ECT practitioner. The course covers strategies for managing the complex ECT patient and updates on latest advances in ECT.
Course description: 2-Day ECT Refresher - Advanced Course
We are always seeking participants for our treatment trials. This is an opportunity for you to access treatments that are not yet widely available.
Ketamine to treat depression
Black Dog Institute researchers have demonstrated the enormous potential of ketamine as a new treatment for major depression.
Whilst ketamine is approved for use in anaesthesia, it has not received approval for use in depression. This is because there are still significant gaps in our knowledge about dosage levels, treatment protocols and the effectiveness and safety of long term use. UNSW Professor Colleen Loo and her team have done some pioneering work in answering these important questions.
We are pleased to announce that the NH&MRC have provided funding to establish a national clinical trial into ketamine. This study will commence in mid-2016 with trial locations based in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Dunedin (NZ).
You can find out more about participation in this trial at the ketamine to treat depression page
New non-medical treatment for depression including Bipolar Disorder
Researchers are investigating direct current stimulation (DCS) as a treatment for depression (including in bipolar disorder) and potential alternative to medication and electroconvulsive therapy. The stimulation is painless with no known serious side effects (some people report a headache afterwards), and the person is fully awake and alert during the 30 minute treatment sessions.
We are looking for:
- People aged over 18
- People who have been experiencing feelings of depression for at least 4 weeks prior to study
- People able to commit to the trial for at least 4 weeks with the option of additional further treatment, attending usually for 40 minutes every weekday.
Angelo Alonzo completed his studies in Psychology at the University of New South Wales with a BSc (Class 1 Hons) and PhD in cognitive psychology. Upon finishing, he worked in China teaching Introductory Psychology at the Missouri State University branch campus in Dalian and Advanced English at Huaqiao University in Quanzhou. He has worked at the Black Dog Institute since 2008, co-ordinating the clinical research trials of the Sydney Neurostimulation Centre involving novel brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for the treatment of depression.
Dr Donel Martin is a clinical neuropsychologist and post-doctoral researcher based at the Black Dog Institute. His research interests include investigating novel treatments for psychiatric disorders, including novel brain stimulation techniques (e.g. transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS]), and using brain stimulation to enhance cognitive functioning. He is currently involved in research investigating the use of novel forms of brain stimulation to enhance cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and mild cognitive impairment.
Veronica is a Psychiatrist qualified in Spain, Barcelona (Medical College of Doctors of Barcelona, Spanish Society of Psychiatry) and a Clinical Researcher with special interests in the development of new therapies for depression. She is engaged in research in brain stimulation techniques (Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)), as well as ketamine. She has been awarded a prestigious international scholarship from University of New South Wales (International Postgraduate Research Award, IPRS, 2013) to undertake her PhD, under the mentoring of Professor Loo.
Stevan received his Bachelor of Science, specialising in Psychology and Physics, in 2008 and his Master of Commerce in 2010 from UNSW, and has over 5 years research experience in the fields of injury prevention and neuroscience. He is currently conducting research on the use of brain monitoring systems to understand the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation.