Can Magnets Really Help Depression? TMS Therapy Results

TMS Therapy and Depression Treatment

TMS and Depression Treatment

If you are suffering from major depression, you know that every day can seem difficult and hopeless. And you are not alone. The Latest Statistics on Major Depression from the National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH) in 2016 show that:

  • In the United States, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represents almost 7% of the United States population.
  • The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (10.9%).
  • The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adolescent females (19.4%) compared to males (6.4%).

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

There are many different types of major depressive disorder. Each type can have a different cause, however, they all involve the same feeling of disinterest in activities you once enjoyed and feelings of hopelessness, sadness or anxiousness as well as other symptoms. See a mental health professional for a formal diagnosis, but to have a formal diagnosis of major depressive disorder you will need to experience a primarily depressed mood for two weeks or more, as well as other symptoms as outlined below.

 

Although the number and intensity of symptoms will vary for each individual, they are typically as follows:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

 

Major Depression Can Cause Severe Impairment

In 2016, an estimated 10.3 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment. Severe impairment was indicated if their depression caused severe problems with their ability to manage at home, manage well at work, have relationships with others, or have a social life. Those adults who had major depression with severe impairment represented 4.3% of all U.S. adults.

For adolescents aged 12 to 17, approximately 9.0 percent had a Major Depressive Episode with severe impairment. Adolescents were defined as having a Major Depressive Episode with severe impairment if their depression caused severe problems with their ability to do chores at home, do well at work or school, get along with their family, or have a social life.

 

Depression Treatment Options

Common treatments for a major depressive episode may include antidepressants,  psychotherapy, exercise, TMS and electroconvulsive treatment (ECT). A prescribing psychiatrist can provide both psychotherapy services and prescribe antidepressants, which may differ for each person based on their individual considerations. However, ECT is generally avoided, except in extreme circumstances, in favor of both psychotherapy and antidepressants. ECT is generally avoided because the patient typically needs to be in the hospital and receive anesthesia. ECT may also cause some side effects, including confusion, disorientation, and memory loss. Unlike the TMS treatment that is noninvasive and done with the patient being awake, without any need for anesthesia.

 

Depression Treatment With TMS Therapy

What Is TMS Therapy?

tms machine depression treatmentTranscranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method for using a magnetic field to cause an electric current to flow in a small region of the brain via electromagnetic induction, which causes the excitation of neurons in the brain. During a TMS procedure, a magnetic field generator, or “coil”, is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment. The neuron excitation is caused by the electric currents induced in the tissue by the rapidly alternating magnetic fields, a process called electromagnetic induction. The TMS machine triggers activity in the brain without applying electrodes on the brain and without surgery.

 

Who Is A Good Candidate For TMS?

A doctor can help decide if NeuroStar TMS Therapy is right for you. TMS Therapy has been approved for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is only available by prescription.

 

What Happens In A Typical TMS Procedure?

A typical TMS session lasts approximately 30-50 minutes and does not require anesthesia. Patients come to the office five times per week. The treatment goes on for six to eight weeks, for an average of 20-30 total treatments. The TMS treatment is time-intensive, but research shows it can provide long-lasting improvements.

 

What Happens During The TMS Procedure:

An electromagnetic coil is held against the forehead near an area of the brain that is thought to be involved in mood regulation.

Short electromagnetic pulses are administered through the coil. The magnetic pulses easily pass through the skull, and causes small electrical currents that stimulate nerve cells in the targeted brain region.

Generally, the person feels and hears a slight knocking or tapping on the head as the pulses are administered.

 

Side Effects of TMS

For those who experience side effects, the most common side effect they have reported is a headache and/or pain or discomfort (tenderness) on the scalp, at or near the treatment site. However, this is usually transient; it occurs typically during the TMS treatment course and does not occur for most patients after the first week of treatment. There is a rare risk of seizure associated with the use of NeuroStar TMS (less than 0.1% per patient).

 

Who Is Not A Candidate For TMS

NeuroStar TMS Therapy should not be used with patients who have non-removable conductive metal in or near the head. NeuroStar TMS Therapy has not been studied in patients who have not received prior antidepressant treatment.

 

How To Pay For TMS Therapy Treatment

Insurance Coverage For TMS Therapy

Insurance coverage for TMS is expanding due to the increasing recognition by the insurance companies of the effectiveness of TMS. In Texas, TMS treatment is covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and Optum (formerly United Behavioral Health).

If you don’t have these carriers, TMS Therapy® may be covered by your health insurance provider on a case-by-case basis.  Currently, insurance coverage for the TMS procedure varies and individual carriers and plans may determine coverage on a case-by-case basis.

Most insurers will only cover members after they have tried 3 or 4 medications without success, although this may change in the future, as was seen with Medicare when they changed this approval to 1 failure of medication. Although anyone can pay for the treatment out of pocket. Research shows that taking fewer medications before TMS can reduce the number of side effects of these medications, and increase the success rate of the TMS treatment.

 

Success Rate Using TMS With Major Depression

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, known as rTMS, may produce long-lasting changes in electro-cortical function. According to researchers, the pulses are thought to increase blood flow and encourage the growth of connections between brain cells. TMS can also cause the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which are chemicals that help send signals between cells. The magnetic field is about the same strength as that of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Midtown Psychiatry Experience With TMS

At Midtown Psychiatry and TMS Center, Dr White has been using TMS to help people with Major Depression since 2014. She has seen a success rate of  54% percent for patients who’ve tried TMS at her office that have seen improvements in their depression symptoms.

“For the people who do see an improvement, it can be life-changing, as many of those patients have suffered from Major Depression for years,” Dr. White says. The success stories of those helped using TMS can be seen in the note cards that Dr. White has posted on a bulletin board in her office.

The results Dr. White has seen in her office are similar to studies announced at the American Psychiatric Association meetings, which report that 53 percent of patients with medication-resistant depression who were treated with TMS reported no or mild depression following six weeks of treatment, according to results.

The TMS patients achieved better results than depressed patients who tried a different medication after failing to improve from past medication. Among patients trying a new medication, 38 percent saw improvements, according to study results.

However impressive the studies are, the studies and Dr. White caution that TMS does not work for everyone. In more serious cases of major depression, intensive outpatient treatment or hospitalization may be required.

 

TMS For Other Conditions

Research is ongoing into whether transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, can help people with autism, schizophrenia, tinnitus, and a host of other conditions involving the brain. Although the FDA has approved TMS only for medication-resistant depression, the treatment has been approved in Europe for bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, obsessive-compulsive disorder and adult ADHD, according to transcranialmagneticstimulation.com.

 

Integrative Treatment And Major Depression

Dr. White uses what she calls Integrative treatment, which, after a comprehensive evaluation, may include a combination of various therapeutic modalities such as relaxation, psychotherapy, yoga, medication, meditation, exercise, TMS therapy, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, vitamins, dietary changes, light therapy, and others. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of a major depressive disorder, you should seek assistance from a medical professional. Thankfully, in recent years, there is much less of a stigma for a major depressive disorder, and there is plenty of in-depth information available about depression online that you can discuss with your doctor.

 

What Our Patients Are Saying About TMS Treatment At Midtown Psychiatry

We have a bulletin board in our office which has note cards posted from people who have experienced TMS treatment in our Houston TMS Psychiatrist Office. Here are a few:

“As someone who has struggled with depression on and off my whole life and struggling with another long term episode I was excited to find a new treatment. After completing the TMS treatment I’ve been able to climb out of that depressive state and start doing the things I need to do to continue to enjoy my life. I would recommend the treatment.”

“My experience with TMS was very helpful. I went from being tired all day and not finding much pleasure in life to seeing hope for the future.”

“TMS help with my depression symptoms better than any medication ever has with no side effects. I would definitely recommend TMS to those suffering from depression and/or anxiety.”

 

WANT TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHO’VE TRIED IT?

WATCH THE TMS VIDEO TESTIMONIALS

You can hear from some of our patients as they discuss the real impact of TMS on their lives by watching Dr. White in a television video interview about TMS.

 

About Midtown Psychiatry & TMS Center

Midtown Psychiatry and TMS Center was created to provide the best possible mental health care available. With each patient, we strive to identify and treat the underlying causes of distress and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. We work closely with patients and their families to create a treatment plan that addresses any imbalances we find. This may include addressing nutritional, lifestyle, and other core imbalances. Our treatment team, directed by Dr. Daniela White, MD, is dedicated to providing the best in diagnosis and treatment possible for a wide range of psychiatric issues, using an integrative treatment approach that improves the quality of life for our patients.

To that end, Midtown TMS and Psychiatry Center works in partnership with our patients and their families, advising them on options for treatment, such as psychotherapy, medication, TMS therapy, nutritional supplementation, vitamins, dietary changes, light therapy, yoga, meditation, exercise, herbal medicine, and others.

To learn more about TMS and our integrative treatment approach–make an appointment using the button or form on this page or call us directly at 713.426.3100.

 

REFERENCES:

http://innovationscns.com/efficacy-of-transcranial-magnetic-stimulation-tms-in-the-treatment-of-schizophrenia-a-review-of-the-literature-to-date/

 

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUH-FFR1-2016.htm#mde1

 

http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20171203/magnetic-pulses-can-ease-depression

 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

 

 

Major Depression Treatment and TMS

Major Depression and TMS: Stories From The TMS World

SG is a 53 year old woman, very successful professionally who has been treated for depression for many years and had a hard time taking the antidepressants. Some of them made her feel confused and some of them made her gain weight. She felt torn between taking medication to feel better and struggling with the side effects. At one point she was taking more than five medications for what was considered a refractory to treatment depression. Eventually she found that taking only Wellbutrin helped her to feel better, without feeling ‘medicated’. However her mood was never back to how it was prior to those four episodes of the depression that started occurring in her twenties. She had to give away some of her hobbies, because of the lack of pleasure in doing them, her drive was lower, and she was more fearful of trying new things. She felt that sleep was a good way of not thinking about how life used to be, therefore had a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning.

When her daughter brought her in for the TMS (transcranial magnetical stimulation) evaluation, to discuss the procedure, its pros and cons, she was already reluctant to try something new. The depression itself makes people feel like burdens on their families, and the cost of the procedure made her feel guilty about even considering it. Her negative pattern of thinking made her believe that most likely the results will be null, and on top of everything she felt that ‘at her age’ what else can she expect from life. She was also fearful that the TMS might make her depression worse.

Eventually the family convinced her to give TMS a try and she accepted. For the first two and half weeks she didn’t notice any difference and her guilt and doubt about accepting the treatment increased. We reassured her that most people start to see a response around the third week of the treatment.

Towards the end of week three she was still apprehensive about starting the weekend, but Monday she came back and said that the weekend wasn’t bad at all. For the first time in many years she got out of bed and did things without ‘having to push herself to do it’. She didn’t have to convince herself to go and shop for the groceries; she just got out of the house, did the shopping and even enjoyed it. She started cooking for the family and, for the first time she started thinking about gardening again. Not only did she notice an improvement but the family also noticed the change as well. She started waking up earlier in the morning without dragging around the thought of a new day. She started bringing her book and read during her sessions.

At the end of her thirty sessions of TMS the psychometric scales used to track her progress showed marked improvement, to what is considered remission of symptoms. She continued to take Wellbutrin as a maintenance medication, and her mood remained stable at a higher level of functioning than before.

TMS For Depression

An Alternative, Proven Non-drug Treatment for Depression Is Available

depressed woman

If you suffer from depression, you are not alone. The National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH) estimates that in the United States alone, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That equals almost 7 percent of the United States population.

 

Worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 350 million people who suffer from depression.

 

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health offers some data that highlights the problem among young adults. There found that more than 8 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 22, from 2008 to 2010, reported a major depressive episode in the previous year. They also found that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.

 

NeuroStar TMS Therapy® may be able to help, with a non-drug treatment for depression that has proven effective in people with major depression.

 

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is an FDA-cleared safe and effective treatment for patients with depression who have not benefited from prior antidepressant medication. It works by stimulating areas of the brain that are underactive in patients with severe depression.

 

Because it is not a depression drug, NeuroStar TMS Therapy does not have the same side effects that patients experience when they take antidepressant medication.

 

NeuroStar TMS for depression therapy is not right for everyone.

 

Contact us at 713-426-3100 to set up an appointment to ask our NeuroStar Certified Psychiatrist, Daniela White, M.D., if TMS Therapy is right for you.