TMS Therapy and Why it is so Successful
Since 2008, when the FDA approved TMS as a depression treatment for people with major depression who have failed to respond to at least one antidepressant, clinics across the country have been introducing these devices to their clinics to give patients the best possible chance of recovery. As years have gone by, insurance companies have begun to cover theses non-invasive, but expensive, treatments. TMS has become a promising treatment alternative for the 30 percent to 50 percent of people with depression who do not respond well to antidepressant medications, which is surprisingly a majority of depression patients.
Success Rates for Depression
So far, TMS has had an 82% success rate in treating people with resistant depression. These patients have showed improvements of an average of 75% of reduced symptoms in the severity of their depression.
The statistics are impressive, but the influence of treatment on patients’ lives is infinite. One recent patient explained his experience: “TMS has been life changing for me.” “I am back to how I should be and I am still improving every day.” “It really is incredible – I am so glad I did it” Fred
die Treatment for Depression at Smart TMS London. Even though over eighty percent of TMS patients respond significantly; their depression symptoms are improved by at least 75 percent, they still do not reach complete remission. The more depressive cycles they have had in their lives, the more difficult it is to treat them in general.
Even though, TMS has showed amazing success results and has given patients an alternative for failed anti-depressants, it is not a miracle cure. Follow-up booster sessions every few weeks or months may help prevent a relapse. Many of the patients who responded positively to TMS have experienced remissions lasting months or even years. This treatment has been so successful with the help of maintenance courses of TMS every month or so, in hopes that it will control their depression and prevent it from causing any more problems to their life. French researchers recently reported that patients who received maintenance TMS were significantly less likely to relapse than those who did not receive boosters.
The statistics are impressive, but the influence of treatment on patients’ lives is infinite. One recent patient explained his experience: “TMS has been life changing for me.” “I am back to how I should be and I am still improving every day.” “It really is incredible – I am so glad I did it” Freddie Treatment for Depression at Smart TMS London
Even Though fifty percent of TMS patients respond significantly; their depression symptoms are improved by at least 50 percent, they still do not reach complete remission. The more depressive cycles they have had in their lives, the more difficult it is to treat them in general. TMS is also being used to treat Autism, as well as other conditions.
Treating patients with a major depressive disorder can become very complicated. While treating the patients, doctors have to decide which medications work best and which ones give the specific patient the least side effects. Medication side effects include weight gain, insomnia, headaches, nausea, and sexual dysfunction. On the other hand, TMS treatment shows no serious side effects. Side effects are minimal; slight headache and muscle soreness are the most common complaints. Though there is a small risk of seizure, it’s reportedly less so to the seizure risk associated with antidepressant medications. Compared to Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), “TMS is a walk in the park” (Weir).
Mark George, MD, a neurologist/psychiatrist at the Medical University of South Carolina and editor of the journal Brain Stimulation and his colleagues tested TMS as a treatment for patients hospitalized during a suicidal crisis. Patients received nine TMS treatments in just three days. They experienced no serious side effects from the rapid-fire course of treatment.
Although, TMS has become a promising treatment alternative for the estimated 80 percent of people with depression who do not respond effectively to antidepressant medications, TMS success rates are higher when TMS is used as an augmentation strategy for patients who have only partially responded to medication, or who cannot tolerate higher medication doses. Doctors usually recommend a person stay on a dose of maintenance antidepressants and find that some patients need maintenance TMS treatments to stay well. While patients in the studies show an impressive success rate, patients in the real world have access to talking therapy. Doctors will suggest to mix anything that will work to make each specific patient feel better. Therefore, there are higher success rates in the real world compared to the studies. By the end of the treatment regimen, many patients experience improvements in sleep, concentration, activity level and mood.
Can Magnets Really Cure Depression?
The TMS procedure is performed by a physician or nurse. First, they place the non invasive machine on the patient’s scalp. Then, the device sends short and intense magnetic pulses into the brain; it generates an electric current. The pulses are centered over the left prefrontal cortex. This is the area that often shows abnormal electrical activity in depressed patients. A typical course of TMS therapy involves 20 to 30 sessions, generally given in three to five treatments per week for four to six weeks.
Mark George, MD, says there is some evidence the total amount of brain stimulation is what matters, rather than the number of calendar days spent in treatment.