When it comes to mental health issues, psychiatry provides effective care and treatment. People of all ages can struggle with issues such as addictions, behavioral conditions and emotional challenges. If you need help with any of these or other mental problems, a psychiatrist can help you recover. The doctor will use various methods to relieve…
TMS – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression Treatment
With the help of TMS, patients with treatment-resistant depression can get relief. Despite the potency of standard depression treatments, some depressive patients do not improve. When this happens, psychiatrists turn to TMS. This non-invasive treatment can provide relief to patients without adverse effects. If you want to get TMS for you or your loved one, the following are the facts.
Reasons for choosing TMS
For years, treatment-resistant patients tried ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) for relief of depression symptoms. Until today, some psychiatrists still use this therapy on TRD patients. Yet, many patients cannot tolerate ECT because of the adverse effects on cognition and memory. For these TRD patients, TMS is an effective way to get better.
This non-intrusive type of neurostimulation applies strong electromagnetic fields to the part of the brain that handles depression. Unlike ECT, TMS does not need anesthesia. Patients tolerate the procedure well. The electromagnetic coil delivers magnetic pulses through the patient’s scalp. The stimulation targets specific areas of the brain, like the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain has low activity if the patient has depressive symptoms.
Types of TMS
Patients can discuss the right type of TMS with their psychiatrists. Finding out the right one can help determine what insurance providers could cover. The first one is rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation). The FDA approved this TRD treatment in 2008.
In every rTMS session, magnetic pulses reach certain areas of the brain through an electromagnetic coil. The pulses from the coil have the same intensity one receives from a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Some psychiatrists use rTMS with antidepressants. Studies show that this type of approach is more effective with psychotherapy.
A new form of rTMS is TBS (theta burst stimulation). TBS has short jolts of stimulation at high frequencies. There are five bursts per second. It can mimic the brain’s natural rhythmic function.
The second type is dTMS (deep transcranial magnetic stimulation). This is a form of stimulation that targets the bigger and deeper regions of the brain. The H coils of this therapy stimulate various areas of the patient’s brain. Recently, the FDA approved dTMS for OCD treatments. Although this procedure penetrates deeper into the brain, it still does not need anesthesia.
Patients who receive these treatments usually have complete remission. Although their symptoms go away, the effects are only temporary. Most patients feel a lot better after completing the treatment series. The positive results usually last for at least a year. Some return to get follow-up treatments.
Treating TRD with TMS is effective and side effect free
Psychiatrists can recommend either rTMS or dTMS. Either can reach a specific area of the brain to increase its level of neural activity. The changes usually happen during the third up to the sixth treatment session. TRD patients can discuss the level of intensity that a TMS session should have. That way, they can maximize the benefits of each session.
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Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment — otherwise referred to as TMS — can be a great way to find relief from chronic depression. Anyone who struggles with depression and has not found relief through talk therapy or medication may be able to benefit from TMS treatment.TMS is a form of brain stimulation used by psychological professionals…
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