TMS is a safe and effective treatment for people who are suffering from depression without the risks and side effects from medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
A life-changing treatment for depression:
Recent research has shown that depression is related to abnormal neuron activity in the brain. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses electromagnetic waves to modulate neuron activity, which in turn relieves the symptoms of depression for many patients who were previously thought to be treatment resistant.
In the US, depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability for people between the ages of 15 and 44. Over 15 million — almost 7% of the US adult population suffer from depression each year. While anti-depressant medications work for most patients, 30% of sufferers have treatment resistant depression, meaning that their depression did not improve even after they tried several different anti-depressant medications.
TMS is non-invasive and causes few side effects. TMS is FDA approved for treatment resistant depression, and is covered by most health insurance plans.
Manlove Health is the only clinic offering TMS in western South Dakota.
TMS Results from Manlove Health
The Manlove Health started doing Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) 06/01/2015. Between 06/01/2015 and 06/01/2017 we completed dTMS on forty-three patients. Of the forty-three patients, almost all were severely depressed based on their scores on the PHQ9 or MADRS. All had failed multiple antidepressant medication trials. No patient had failed fewer than five antidepressant medications. Some had failed as many as twenty different antidepressant trials. Many were immobilized by depression.
Based on data from the National Institute of Mental Health (STAR D study), patients who have failed four or more antidepressants have a less than 10% chance of having a good response to subsequent antidepressant trials.
The forty-three patients we worked with all improved during their treatment with dTMS. 31 of the 43 patients (72%) improved more than 50%, which is considered excellent improvement in most studies of antidepressants. 15 of the 43 patients (35%) returned to normal. Most patients were able to resume most of their normal life activities.
Side effects we observed included topical head discomfort at the site of the dTMS which invariably resolved at the end of each dTMS session, fatigue after dTMS in one patient, and one episode of hypomania which responded to a mood stabilizer.
The data from our group is consistent with data from dTMS providers around the world. dTMS appears to be an excellent treatment option for patients who have not responded to traditional treatments of depression. If you know someone who is struggling with depression and has not responded to routine antidepressant treatment we suggest you consider a referral for dTMS.