Depression: An Alternative Treatment

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If you suffer from moderate to severe depression and have tried a plethora of medications and treatments with no success, Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) might be a good option for you.

WHAT IS TMS THERAPY?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an innovative, life-changing therapy for those who have moderate to severe depression and have had trouble responding to medication. 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

TMS is a safe, FDA-approved, non-invasive, and drug-free treatment that uses a magnetic pulse to stimulate nerve cells in key areas of the brain that are thought to control mood. Similar to the magnetic pulses that you would receive from an MRI machine, TMS stimulates the part of the brain that is under-active in people with depression. Using TMS allows doctors to change brain activity without surgery and with minimal discomfort to the patient. The area of the brain that is stimulated creates gentle electrical impulses that activate neural pathways in the brain associated with depression. 

ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS?

TMS treatment process involves placing a small electromagnetic coil against the scalp near the forehead. TMS has no reported side effects other than some mild discomfort at the application site. Patients can drive to and from the TMS treatment. The procedure is approximately 20 minutes and can be done during your lunch break. 

HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT LAST?

Treatment sessions last 20-30 minutes and the first 25 sessions must be done five times per week for the first five weeks. The remaining sessions can be tapered over a period of weeks.

WHAT’S THE SUCCESS RATE?

TMS has a success rate between 70-80 percent, meaning that the vast majority of individuals find significant relief after treatment. About 50 percent of people experience complete remission, meaning that the symptoms of depression are absent after just one course of treatment. 

IS TMS SIMILAR TO ECT (SHOCK THERAPY)?  No, Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly referred to as “shock therapy”, uses electricity to produce seizure-like activity in the brain while the patient is under anesthesia and has side effects that can be substantial. While both treatments relieve depression, TMS is a treatment that is performed while the patient is awake and alert, no anesthesia or sedation is needed. TMS uses magnetic energy, rather than electricity that is applied to the scalp. 

WHAT CONDITIONS CAN IT HELP?

TMS can be applied to different brain areas with the goal of treating other conditions. Research is ongoing to determine whether these techniques are effective to treat: • Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) • Autism • Bipolar Disorder • Chronic Pain • Multiple Sclerosis (MSC) • Parkinson’s Disease • Post Stroke Rehabilitation • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) • Schizophrenia (Negative Symptoms) • Smoking Cessation


Sponsored by: Pinnacle Behavioral Health.
For more information call 518.689.0244 or visit
pinnaclebehavioralhealth.com

 

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