Depression and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Symptoms of depression cover a wide range of warnings. Low energy, fatigue, lack of motivation or concentration, irritability, sadness, inability to enjoy activities, guilt, isolation, difficulty sleeping, increase or decrease in eating, decreased sociability, worry, suicidal ideas or intentions, and thoughts of hurting yourself or others are all very common symptoms of depressive disorders.

Many of our patients are referred to our clinic after receiving a depressive disorder diagnosis that is not improving with routine treatment. Our clinic’s specialization in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) provides a practical alternative Acute treatment for depression when medication, such as antidepressants, proves ineffective or harmful. TMS can be considered in the special population who want to avoid taking medications(e.g. pregnancy) or in elderly or medically ill who may not tolerate multiple medication trials.

Treating Depression with TMS

To qualify for insurance to authorize TMS treatment, the patient must generally have “difficult to treat Depression” or Treatment-resistant Depression. After approval, the patient will undergo an average of 36 total sessions. Our patients generally notice positive changes after the first 1-3 weeks, improving consistently over the process of 4-6 weeks, when the treatment concludes. After the course of 36 sessions has ended, most people will remain well for a year or few years as the benefit of TMS is more enduring than medication. TMS therapy results in long term potentiation of Neuroplasticity and many have remained on minimal medications or none. But, there will be some “tough cases” who may relapse into depression and may need a booster round of TMS therapy within 12 months. Patients with history of frequent recurrence of severe depression may prefer a “maintenance” regimen of regular TMS therapy to prevent going back into the ‘Dark zone’: e.g., weekly once or once every 2 –4 weeks. There are no definitive guidelines on maintenance treatment.

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