Depression is a serious condition that has the potential to render its victims completely unable to function at normal everyday activities. In fact, depression has become the second leading cause of disability in the U.S. An estimated 15 million American adults are afflicted with this serious mental health condition annually.
Treating depression with antidepressants over recent decades—medications such as Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, and Lexapro—has only been found to be effective in about half the patients who tried them. In fact, in studies of antidepressant effectiveness, about 80% of the study participants got better with just using the placebo, illustrating the scale of the ineffectiveness of these drugs.
This has led to frustration and despair for those who suffer the debilitating effects of major depressive disorder (MDD). Not only do the medications not help them, but these same medications can cause several negative side effects, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, irritability, digestive conditions, and fatigue.
Magnetic Therapy Treatment for Depression Demonstrates Promise
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe, noninvasive alternative magnetic therapy to treat MDD in individuals who have medication-resistant depression. TMS was approved in 2008 by the FDA to treat such patients when traditional treatment protocols have failed to alleviate their depressive symptoms. TMS is the first new tool introduced in about 30 years for treating depression, and its effectiveness is being demonstrated through ongoing clinical trials that are producing consistently positive outcomes.
Magnetic pulses delivered through a coil directly into the scalp to a depth of up to 6 cm have been shown to reset or balance out brain circuitry. By applying these magnetic fields to the brain, resulting electrical currents act as instruments to either stimulate or calm the area of the brain responsible for mood, concentration, and decision-making.
A study from the United Kingdom in 2015 found that the circuitry in a region of the right prefrontal cortex is too active in depressed patients, causing them to ruminate excessively, to be self-absorbed, and to have impaired attention spans. The application of magnetic therapy caused the activity in that region of the brain to slow. TMS is often applied to the left prefrontal cortex where it will stimulate the neurotransmitters that are inactive, also contributing to depression. As lead scientist for the study, Sarina Iwabuchi, stated, “We found that one session of TMS modifies the connectivity of large-scale brain networks, particularly the right anterior insula, which is a key area in depression.”
TMS Treatment Sessions
A typical magnetic therapy treatment for depression session involves the patient being seated in a comfortable chair, and a helmet containing a coil is placed on their head. Once the physician has determined the speed and intensity of the pulses for the patient, the technician then administers the therapy. Magnets generate a directed magnetic field, so as the magnetic pulses are delivered through the scalp, the patient will feel a repetitive tapping sensation on the head.
Each TMS treatment session lasts about 20 minutes, and five sessions per week for 4-6 weeks is a typical treatment regimen. No anesthesia is required and there are few to no side effects from the treatment. Side effects that have been reported are minor, such as irritation at the treatment site on the scalp, or mild to moderate headache. However, in most cases, these adverse effects gradually subside over the course of treatment.
Positive treatment results can be realized after the first week or so, starting with improved sleep. Patients report they feel better in the morning, more optimistic. Soon patients begin to feel more social and have increased patience with others. The signs of improvement and the timing of the changes vary among individuals.
Achieve TMS Centers is Americas Premier TMS Provider
To learn more and receive a free consultation for magnetic therapy treatment for depression, Achieve TMS Centers offers several convenient locations in San Diego County, in addition to San Clemente, and Palm Desert. Our professional offices provide a clean, quiet, and comfortable therapeutic environment for treatment, and each office is staffed with TMS physicians, nurses, and technicians who are experts in the field. Isn’t it time to find a real cure for your depression? Contact our staff to ask questions about the TMS treatment services and insurance eligibility at (877) 447-6503.