Are You a Good Candidate for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
In 2015, almost 7 in 100 adults in the United States experienced an episode of depression. Unfortunately, many failed to seek the help they needed or were treated unsuccessfully. Only 30% of those who received treatment experienced a remission or full recovery. The other 70% experienced partial relief or none at all.
We’ll look at hard-to-treat depression and address these issues: What is treatment-resistant depression? How is it treated? What is TMS?
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
Antidepressants play an important role in the treatment of depression, but some patients experience little or no relief from medications. If they complete one or more trials of antidepressants and are still unable to return to the life they once enjoyed, they are diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Depression never occurs in a vacuum. It always involves other conditions. So, what is treatment-resistant depression accompanied by? Although it can affect patients with bipolar disorder, TRD frequently accompanies major depressive disorder. Patients with TRD are twice as likely to end up in the hospital, and their treatment costs six times more than care for those who respond to treatment.
How Do Doctors Treat TRD?
In 2012, a study published in a medical journal listed five strategies for treating TRD:
- Giving the medication longer to work or changing the dose
- Switching to another type of antidepressant
- Using a combination of medications
- Adding a medication normally used for another condition
- Introducing somatic therapies like transcranial magnetic stimulation or vagus nerve stimulation
Because every patient is unique, psychiatrists can use a combination of these strategies to find the best one for each individual.
What Is TMS?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an FDA-approved treatment for depression. A noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, it is most frequently used when other methods of treatments have failed. Doctors may use it as an alternative treatment for TRD or combine it with traditional medications and talk therapy.
To find out if TMS can help you or a loved one, you need to know the answer to these questions: What is treatment-resistant depression? What is TMS?
Can TMS Help You?
Now that you know what TRD is and how TMS can help, we have a quiz to see if it’s right for you. A history of conditions like head injuries or seizures may require special consideration, but you can discuss them with your doctor.
DISCLAIMER: This test is not intended as a formal diagnostic tool, but rather an indication that you may need help. If the following quiz prompts any vulnerabilities or concerns, please contact a trained professional.
How Do TMS Treatments Work?
TMS takes place in 18-minute segments over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. During your sessions, you’ll wear a magnetic coil over the top of your head while you relax in a comfortable chair. After your session, you can drive home and continue your daily activities.
TMS is effective for various forms of depression, including major depressive disorder, chronic depression, medication-resistant depression, and postpartum depression. The FDA approved its use in 2008, and it is now used for other conditions, including PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and chronic pain.
At Pulse TMS, we use a Brainsway machine that delivers deep TMS, allowing the magnetic impulses to go deeper into the brain. Deep TMS works faster and gives better results than other types of TMS therapy. Effects may occur in the first week, or it may take longer to see results. Although TMS is safe, you could experience a slight headache during or after treatment. Headaches are usually mild, go away quickly, and respond to over-the-counter medication.
Does Research Show Benefits of TMS?
Thousands of studies suggest that TMS is an effective therapy for treat-resistant therapy. One paper reported a 37% remissions rate and a 58% positive response rate. A 2017 study found that 59% responded to treatment compared to 3% who received sham treatments.
Does Research Show the Benefits?
Thousands of studies suggest that TMS is an effective therapy for treatment-resistant therapy. One paper reported a 37% remissions rate and a 58% positive response rate. A 2017 study found that 59% of participants responded to treatment compared to 3% who received sham treatments.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, around half of patients who didn’t benefit from medication experienced a “clinically meaningful response” with TMS. Around 1 in 3 had a full remission. The response isn’t permanent, but positive results lasted an average of a little over a year. Additional treatment can be provided.
Pulse TMS Can Help
Our trained team of trained, caring professionals know the damage that depression can do to relationships, daily performance, and quality of life, and we want to help. Besides offering our innovative technology, we provide support for our patients and families, giving them the tools they need to enjoy a long-term recovery and resume their lives.
Contact our offices in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara to request a consultation for the latest in depression treatment. Most insurance companies cover the cost of treatment.