TMS Therapy: Depression Today; Remission Tomorrow

Written By: Eric Tirrell, BA, TMS Clinic and Neuromodulation Research Operations Manager, Butler Hospital on May 9, 2022


As unfortunate as it may be, it would be no surprise to me if you, or those close to you, have experienced symptoms of depression. Depression affects over 320 million people and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. From sad moods, anxious thoughts, low energy, thoughts of not wanting to be alive, and feelings of hopelessness, these are just a snapshot into the dark world of depression that has consumed the lives of so many. Its devastating grip wreaks havoc on one’s ability to maintain relationships, function at work, or simply enjoy activities.

Furthermore, people who suffer from depression anticipate an unforeseeable end to its dark tunnel. And those who bear witness to this suffering feel powerless in how to help. So, they often default to mainstream strategies, such as psychotherapy or antidepressant medication, to aid in recovery. For many, these treatment options are effective but there are many who don’t find relief in these measures and they are left wondering what their alternative options might be.

Enter Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy

In the world of psychiatry, TMS Therapy is a revolutionary and innovative treatment option for Major Depressive Disorder. This non-invasive procedure - which uses magnetic pulses to focally target under active areas in the brain associated with mood - was granted FDA approval in 2008 and has been used since to treat individuals with resistant depression.

TMS follows an outpatient treatment plan that includes daily, Monday through Friday, sessions typically over a six-to-nine-week period. Patients remain fully awake and alert during their TMS treatment sessions and they can travel independently to and from the clinic and continue with their day-to-day activities without limitation. TMS therapy can be given alone, or as an add-on to ongoing psychiatric medications. This treatment has coverage policies for nearly all commercial insurance carriers including Medicare and Medicaid.

Published reports from TMS treatment studies show more than half of patients treated with TMS therapy experienced significant improvements in depression symptoms and about one-third of patients experience remission of the depressive episode. TMS-treated patients have experienced significant improvements in their mood, anxiety, functioning, pleasure, appetite changes, aches and pains, lack of energy, and other debilitating symptoms associated with their depression. Patients have described this treatment as “life-changing” resulting in a positive impact within all spheres of life. Although there is no known “cure” for depression, many individuals may return for another series of TMS when they notice their symptoms begin to re-surface. Recent data suggests about 90% can recapture past responses to TMS and start to feel well again.

TMS Therapy is an important consideration for those who don’t respond to standard interventions that are meant to treat depression. Butler Hospital’s TMS Clinic is the region’s premier treatment center, and they are ready to serve.

To find out if you are candidate for TMS, you can begin the screening process by calling (401) 455-6632 or by filling out the form on the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation page and someone on the team will be in contact with you shortly.

 

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