Depression is a common yet serious mood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. While antidepressants are readily available to treat depression, treatment success can vary due to differing degrees of efficacy, potential side effects, and individual non-responsiveness. However, a new alternative approach called Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has emerged as a game-changer in treating depression. This non-invasive procedure targets specific areas of the brain that regulate mood and has received FDA approval for treating depression that is medication-resistant.
How Does TMS Work?
TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that regulate mood. These pulses are directed at the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls mood, concentration, and decision-making. This stimulation produces a calming effect in people with depression by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood. Unlike antidepressants, TMS treatment does not cause any serious side effects and is not associated with weight gain or sleep problems.
Who Is a Candidate for TMS?
While TMS is a suitable alternative for people with medication-resistant depression, it is not a cure-all treatment. You must undergo a thorough psychiatric exam before starting TMS therapy to determine your eligibility for the procedure. People with severe or chronic depression, those with a history of seizures or head injuries, and pregnant women should refrain from getting TMS treatment.
What Is the TMS treatment process?
The TMS treatment period typically lasts for several weeks. During the procedure, you will be seated in a comfortable chair while a small magnetic coil is placed on your scalp. You will be fully awake during the entire procedure. After each session of TMS treatment, you can resume normal activity immediately without any restrictions.
What Are the Benefits of TMS Treatment?
TMS treatment has several benefits, including high rates of effectiveness in treating depression in medication-resistant patients. Many people who undergo TMS achieve full remission or significant improvement in their depressive symptoms. TMS treatment has no serious side effects, is non-invasive, and does not require hospitalization or anesthesia.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment is an effective and safe alternative to conventional antidepressants for people with depression. TMS therapy has high rates of effectiveness and does not produce serious side effects associated with traditional antidepressant medication. While TMS is a viable treatment option for medication-resistant depression, patients should consult with their mental health professionals to determine if they qualify for treatment. For many people with depression, TMS is the next step towards a happier and healthier life. Contact a medical provider to learn more about TMS treatments for depression.