Recently, Crispin Havener of KJCT8 in Grand Junction, Colorado interviewed Dr. Robert Sammons of TMS Solutions, a company operating clinics in Washington State, Colorado and New York, but headquartered locally. According to Havener, "Dr. Sammons has been studying Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) since 2006."
What is TMS?
TMS is an FDA-approved treatment for depression that "helps those who have tried several anti-depressants, but either they don't work, or are no longer effective.
Why is it important and who does it affect?
"More than three million Americans suffer from clinical depression." While medications currently prescribed to treat this disease have limited efficacy, with none greater than 28% with declining rates of likelihood to achieve remission with each subsequent antidepressant prescribed, there is a problem looming for depression sufferers. However, TMS Solutions, using an FDA cleared NeuroStar device has a higher-than-average remission rate (>50%) and response rate (>80%) when treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Patients avoid the potential drug-drug interactions and do not have systemic side effects associated with antidepressants such as nausea, vomiting, weight gain and sexual dysfunction. No anesthesia or sedation is involved as the patients drive them self to daily treatments. TMS Therapy is live-changing news for many who suffer from the disease, as well as their family, friends and co-workers.
Patients initially get treated five days per week, for six weeks, or for 30 sessions, says Sammons, noting that "after a year, about half of patients are at the same level of improvement that they were at the end of treatment, compared to eight percent for those who are on their fourth or more different anti-depressants." In addition, the lifetime cost of receiving TMS is much less than that of a regimen consisting only of antidepressant medications. And this local company is leading the way with this technology.
"TMS Solutions is currently the first and only Private/Civilian TMS provider to have validation within the Veterans Administration (VA) to treat Veterans, Disabled Veterans and Active Military for both Depression and PTSD. TMS Solutions retains the Department of Defense protocol being used at the Naval Hospitals on both the East and West coast for the treatment of depression and PTSD. Use of this protocol has greatly increased our remission and response rates in all patient populations. They also are working to get it approved for teens
Sammons said, "My clinic was one of 10 clinics that just did the research on the adolescent study that we hope to have published in May," Other sites include The Mayo Clinic, Brown University Medical School, Ohio State Medical School, University of Florida Medical School, and Sheppard Pratt. "And this is just the beginning", Dr. Sammons intimated. Globally, there is ongoing research about the application of TMS in many neurodegenerative diseases, issues resulting from stroke and traumatic brain injuries to name a few.
Exciting times for this technology that is, for all intents and purposes, still in its infancy.
To learn more about how TMS Therapy is treating depression, click the button below.