Depression is a psychiatric disorder that affects millions of Americans each day. The most popular treatment options are antidepressants and psychotherapy. However, a new approach has been approved that may negate the need for antidepressants in the treatment of depression. It’s called TMS.
TMS is an acronym for transcranial magnetic stimulation and works by sending magnetic pulses to the part of the brain believed to regulate mood. It is not the same as shock therapy, which may cause deficits in memory and cognition.
TMS is FDA-cleared for major depression in patients who have not responded to or not tolerated an antidepressant. The response rates vary between 45% and 75%. The latest research shows the TMS results can be long lasting and may offer patients the opportunity to remain well for a year or more. Many centers have patients who have remained symptom-free for 3-4 years.
It is a non-invasive treatment, and, unlike medication, has few side effects. The effects most reported are occasional discomfort, mild pain at the site of treatment, or headaches. These side effects, when experienced, are often mild and do not deter patients from receiving treatment. Some of the most exciting applications of TMS are in the treatment of anxiety and in the treatment of women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
If your depression hasn’t been eased by antidepressants or you can’t tolerate the side effects, TMS may be a great alternative for you. You don’t have to let depression keep you from living your best life. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact my office at (860) 648-9755.
To getting you back to your best self,
Lori Calabrese, MD