Depression symptoms are most often treated with antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on mood and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, treating major depression is sometimes more complicated and requires more than antidepressants.
Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. This condition is sometimes referred to as treatment resistant depression. Although not a scientific term, treatment resistant depression is real and debilitating for those dealing with it. They are constantly seeking a depression treatment that works only to be left feeling hopeless.
Additionally, since antidepressant medications are typically taken by mouth, they circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body, often resulting in unwanted side effects such as weight gain, sexual problems, upset stomach, sleepiness, and dry mouth. More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them.
For these patients, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have proven to work in some people that do not receive benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. These treatments include: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
Recent research with transcranial magnetic stimulation has offered a new alternative treatment for depression. Focused stimulation of targeted regions in the brain with pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters levels. Treating depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation, also referred to as TMS Therapy, provides an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.
TMS THERAPY FOR DEPRESSION
For decades, researchers have sought safe and effective treatments for depression. However, there is no single depression treatment which has been proven to work for everyone. Depression is often treated with antidepressant medications; however, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have been shown to work in people who do not receive benefit from medications or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. One alternative therapy for the treatment of depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation. Devices for TMS therapy were recently cleared by the FDA for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medications.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. It is sometimes referred to as rTMS which stands for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS Therapy is performed in a psychiatrist’s office under his or her supervision while you remain awake and alert.