advertisement
Depression

Improving TMS Therapy as Technology Advances

Healthcare treatment approaches change over time as discoveries and new technologies are tested and refined. The process of evidence-based research, learning and continuous improvement carries over for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy for depression treatment.

As a refresher, TMS Therapy utilizes a safe, non-invasive magnetic pulse technology to stimulate brain activity at the area where humans experience depression in the brain. TMS is an FDA-cleared, non-drug treatment option, where the patient is not sedated or medicated and can immediately return to their normal day following the short in-office procedure.

For nearly a decade, my practice has specialized in providing TMS Therapy as a treatment for depression with 75 percent of our patients having a positive response. Historically, the vast majority of our patients had undergone numerous depression treatments including various antidepressants before trying TMS. And while we continue to have a strong track record for relief of depression symptoms, we strive to analyze ways to improve the TMS methodology when it comes to targeting the treatment location.



antidepressants

What does Esketamine have to do with TMS Therapy?

What does Esketamine have to do with TMS?

While this blog focuses on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy for depression, as good practice, I like to share my thoughts on new treatment options as they become available. Whether it's advances in technologies, psychotherapy approaches or the latest medication, I'm committed to informing my patients on all treatment paths.

In recent weeks, you've probably noticed news outlets abuzz about esketamine - a newly FDA-approved treatment option for depression. So I wanted to take this opportunity to explain the treatment and make some comparisons between esketamine and TMS.

First, let me provide a snapshot of each treatment, TMS Therapy and esketamine.



Depression

Industry Meeting: Highlights and Insights in the TMS Field

Last week, February 21 - 23, 2019, I attended the Clinical TMS Society's annual meeting held in vibrant Vancouver, Canada. For the sixth year, this conference bought together TMS providers and researchers from across the globe to discuss the pulse of the industry, discoveries, and what's on the horizon for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) technology as the therapy continues to be a safe and effective treatment for depression.

The three-day conference boasted more than 540 attendees and offered 30+ presentations, panel discussions and workshop breakout sessions—all packed with top-notch data and impactful stories of research success and patient progress.



Depression

Snapshot of Patient Success Stories with TMS Therapy for Depression

In this blog feature, while I typically discuss more of the mechanics and scientific aspects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy for depression, this time I wanted to sidestep and highlight a handful of patient success stories for individuals that I'm currently treating to share their journey back to health.

As a practicing psychiatrist, I have been involved with TMS Therapy for the past nine years and continue to follow many of the patients we treat, usually meeting with one to two patients a day, and keeping track of their well-being beyond TMS Therapy.

74% of our patients have responded to TMS Therapy meaning that their depressive symptoms improve. So what does this really mean in the life of a patient? Let's explore.



antidepressants

What do we know about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy?

It is sometimes helpful to recap where we are so we can make the best decisions about how to move forward. It helps to look at the facts and be realistic about where we are, what we know and what more we can learn to gain a fuller understanding of something in its current state and what’s ahead. With this logic in mind, as a practicing psychiatrist, I wanted to expand on what is know about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy from a clinical perspective.

TMS was cleared by the FDA in 2008 to treat Major Depression that has not responded to one antidepressant treatment. This clearance was expanded to previous antidepressant treatment, no matter the number.


Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder; Not Just the Winter Blues

Sometimes the Grinch visits. It might be winter, or it might be summer. It might be part of a larger picture of clinical depression, or it might be only seasonal. Having first been described in 1984, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has become a recognizable diagnosis that warrants treatment as a type of depression that displays a recurring seasonal pattern.

To be diagnosed with SAD, someone must have depressive episodes during winter or summer months that meet the criteria for Major Depression for a duration of at least two years, and seasonal depressions must be more frequent than non-seasonal depressions.

Major Depression may include experiencing the following symptoms for two weeks or longer:

Feeling depressed nearly every day
Low energy
Lack of interest
Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
Sleep problems
Difficulty concentration
Appetite changes
Agitation or sluggishness
Thoughts of death or suicide



Depression

Why It’s Difficult to Find Help For Depression

Over the last few years, it has been harder and harder to find resources for my patients to get the help they need. Being a believer in a multimodal approach to the treatment of psychiatric struggles, I will see people for psychotherapy, medications, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and until recently I would admit patients to the hospital. Also, I refer to specialists about medication issues and psychotherapeutic treatments I do not provide.



Depression

The Depression Calculator for Employers

What's good for business should also be good for employees, as the majority of companies’ lifeblood depends on its workforce productivity.

Recently, The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Foundation's Center for Workplace Mental Health released its Depression Calculator, a tool that estimates the cost of depression for employers as well as offers helpful resources. Individuals that struggle with depression understand the cost of their illness, but this may not be recognized in their professional settings, as many businesses need to see the dollar signs to pay attention.



Depression

The Power of Relating to Others

In my profession, what I do throughout the day is talk with people who are struggling. The nature of the struggles varies. Some individuals are depressed about specific circumstances, situations or people. Others have perceptual difficulties that interfere with their ability to maintain a connection with reality. These struggles can manifest in degrees of challenge and severity.