Repost of a Renee Tessman Blog/Newscast courtesy of KARE11 in Minn/St. Paul, MN on 7:11 p.m. EDT May 26, 2015
EDINA, Minn. - There's a new therapy to treat severe depression, meant for patients for whom medication doesn't work.
It's called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS, and it's something one doctor thinks holds a lot of potential.
As a patient reclines in the treatment chair and has the magnetic device placed over a small portion of their scalp, the first thing noticeable about the treatment is the clicking.
"I call it Woody Woodpecker," patient Barbara Sautner of Bloomington said.
The clicking, or "pecking" as Sautner calls it, is the sound of targeted magnetic pulses being sent to a specific part of the brain to treat severe depression.
"You don't want to stimulate the whole brain. You just want to stimulate… part of the brain, so you can affect only mood," explained Dr. Ahmed Dokmak of Dokmak Psychiatry in Edina.
"TMS is the revolution that psychiatry has been waiting for," he said.
Dokmak began offering NeuroStar TMS Therapy this year to patients for whom medications either don't work or their side effects are too great.
"I had seizures that were quite intense and I couldn't sleep at night or I slept too much," Sautner said.
With TMS, the non-invasive device about the size of a cupped hand is placed over the front left side of the head.
When the device is turned on, a pulsed magnetic field stimulates brain cells that help produce chemicals to better regulate mood.
"And this is the part of the brain that's not functioning well in depression," said Dokmak.
According to Neuronetics, which makes the NeuroStar TMS device, over half of patients see improvement. And for one in three patients, symptoms are gone.
After six weeks of treatment, five times a week, 37 minutes each time, Sautner is off her medications and no longer depressed.
"It's kind of like the light went on and the day is more bright than it was before. It's a good feeling," she said.
She will not get treatment again and hopes her depression remains in remission for the rest of her life.
Her husband, John Sautner, says he has his wife back.
"She's got a beautiful personality again. She's full of the devil. She's smiling. She's interested in things other than surviving," he said.
Dr. Dokmak wants to be clear, this is not shock therapy. These are magnetic pulses.
The only side effect he has seen is minor scalp irritation during the first couple treatments.
He says Medicare started covering TMS therapy last year, but it is not yet covered by all insurance.
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, if you'd like to learn more about TMS, or find out if TMS is right for you, click the button below.
Depression is a serious illness, affecting approximately 16.1 million people in the U.S, and 350 million people worldwide. Depression is a "life stealer”, it grays over and weights down joy and vitality, and is becoming the largest health burden in world health. For years, medication has helped manage symptoms, however, many patients are just not satisfied with the results, nor the nasty side effects they get with the “cocktail” of standard drug based therapy. There is hope…
TMS Therapy, “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation” (TMS) is about giving lives back. TMS Solutions utilizes patented, FDA cleared, NeuroStar TMS Therapy® to provide a proven, successful approach to achieving remission from depression (not just manage symptoms!). Many insurance companies, including Medicare and Blue Cross (in most states), and now Humana and the VA are now covering and allowing this process. In addition to treating depression, it is also proving helpful in treating anxiety, PTSD, Tinnitus and Postpartum depression.
- TMS efficacy is showing better results than traditional medication, with far fewer, less severe side effects.
- TMS Therapy has provided relief for over 24,000 depression sufferers to date.
- Approximately 1 out of 3 people have experienced complete remission from depression.
- 50% of patients have drastic reductions in their symptoms.
- TMS Therapy is bringing new hope to patients and families every day.
Patients have been heard to say, "The gray is gone!"
For more information about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS Therapy, and where to get help for depression, call us at TMS Solutions at 1-970-697-1020 or visit the Web site at www.tmssolutions.com.
To learn more about TMS Therapy and clinical trials, or search for other TMS studies, please visit www.tmssolutions.com . You can also click on the button below for more info.