Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Effective for Bipolar Depression Treatment
Bipolar Depression, also referred to as manic-depression, is a highly complex mental health disorder that involves intense mood swings between extreme depression and mania. An estimated 5.7 million adults aged 18 and older in the U.S. suffer from this serious psychiatric condition.
There are four types of bipolar disorder, ranging in intensity and type of mood shifts. Along with the mood swings, people with bipolar disorder also struggle with extreme changes in sleep, activity, and energy levels. Bipolar disorders usually appear in the late teens or in early adulthood, and it is a lifelong disorder.
Bipolar Depression Treatment
Treating bipolar disorder is challenging because of the two totally different ways it manifests—extreme manic phases, and intense depressive phases. Traditionally, bipolar disorder is treated with antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and psychotherapy, to varying results. In some patients, the medications themselves can trigger a manic or hypomanic episode. Many who suffer from this disruptive illness are not responsive to these treatments at all, however, so seeking an alternative treatment like deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) offers hope.
Deep TMS has demonstrated promising results in treating stubborn depression, including depression related to bipolar disorder. In a recent small clinical trial of 14 patients with diagnosed bipolar disorder, nine achieved improvement in their bipolar depression, with four reaching and maintaining remission. There have been five other studies of the effects of dTMS on bipolar disorder that also suggest its efficacy as a treatment option. Although these results are encouraging, larger scale trials are needed for further study.
What to Expect at a dTMS Bipolar Depression Treatment Session
Deep TMS treats depression by targeting areas in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and stimulating cortical activity there that is underactive. The procedure involves the patient sitting in a chair fully alert, and then fitted with a comfortable helmet that has a coil built into the design. A machine that is very similar to an MRI machine then delivers magnetic pulses through the coil, which penetrate the scalp and create electrical currents that then activate the region of the brain associated with mood control.
During the session, the patient feels repetitive tapping sensations on the scalp, but the procedure is well tolerated. Each session lasts about 20 minutes, and five sessions per week for 4-6 weeks is a typical treatment regimen. Side effects are minimal, if any, and include headache or irritation at the treatment site on the scalp. These side effects, if experienced, will subside over the course of treatment.
Because dTMS is noninvasive and does not require sedation, the procedure is very safe. Patients can drive themselves to and from the therapy sessions, and resume their normal daily activities immediately.
Achieve TMS Offers Hope for Bipolar Depression Relief
People who suffer from bipolar disorder who have not achieved satisfactory results through conventional means may benefit from dTMS for bipolar depression treatment. Achieve TMS is the premier provider of dTMS in Southern California, with six convenient locations. Our expert staff has been providing dTMS therapy since 2008, offering compassionate support to those who suffer the debilitating effects of depression.
Each of our clean, comfortable offices offer a relaxing and therapeutic setting for treatment. Each office is staffed with a physician, a nurse, and skilled technicians who will ensure the highest level of care. Contact our friendly staff to ask any questions you might have about dTMS for treating bipolar depression, or about your insurance eligibility for TMS benefits. Call us today at (877) 447-6503.