Can TMS therapy help with Major Depressive Disorders?
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a serious illness that can go unnoticed and lead to severe consequences if left untreated. While there are many ways to treat depression, such as antidepressants or psychotherapies, not all methods work for everyone. As reported by Harvard, almost two-thirds of people with depression do not experience adequate relief with the first antidepressant they try. Hence, the emergence of innovative treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can provide a beacon of hope for those battling this disorder.
This non-invasive therapy utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, showing significant promise in alleviating symptoms of major depressive disorder. This therapy has emerged as a promising option for individuals who have not found relief through conventional methods.
Are you looking for the best treatment to cope with depression? At Integrative HealthCare Center, we are here to assist you in your search. In this article, we will delve into the details of TMS therapy and how it can help alleviate symptoms of major depressive disorder. Keep reading to learn more!
Insights of Major Depressive Disorder
Let’s start by understanding what depression is and how it affects people before we dive into how TMS Therapy works. According to the American Psychiatric Association, major depressive disorder is an illness that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. They further state that at least one in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives.
Symptoms of depression are various but may include:
- Maintaining a low ‘feeling blue’ mood
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Changes in appetite, either losing or increased desire to eat more
- Trouble sleeping
- Having feelings of guilt, anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Suicidal thoughts
Fortunately, depression is one of the mental health disorders that have several alternatives; once diagnosed with depression, the patient can choose to treat it with medication, psychotherapy, holistic therapies, or less traditional options such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.
What is TMS Therapy?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a medical procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, allowing it to treat various mental health conditions, particularly major depressive disorder. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved TMS therapy for individuals who have not responded to at least one antidepressant medication.
The National Library of Medicine states that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has effectively treated patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). A literature review found that patients with major depression have response rates to TMS in the range of 50% to 55%, with remission rates falling between 30% and 35%.
The same study indicates that numerous randomized clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of daily transcranial magnetic stimulation targeting the left prefrontal cortex in treating depressive mood symptoms. These trials have shown remission rates ranging from 30% to 40% of cases. TMS, much like antidepressant medications, leads to enduring improvement in mood symptoms, but it is associated with fewer side effects.
To fully grasp how TMS works, it is crucial to acknowledge and comprehend the following three significant factors:
- Targeted Brain Stimulation: During a TMS session, a specialized device delivers repetitive magnetic pulses to specific brain regions, typically the prefrontal cortex. This area plays a crucial role in mood regulation and is often underactive in individuals with depression.
- Inducing Neuronal Activity: The magnetic pulses induce electrical currents in the brain, promoting neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity, which can help correct imbalances associated with depression.
- Non-Invasive and Painless: TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia and is well-tolerated by most patients.
The Benefits of Using TMS to Treat Depressive Disorders
TMS therapy offers several benefits when used to treat depressive disorders, especially for individuals who have not responded well to traditional antidepressant medications. Here are some of the key benefits of using TMS to treat depression.
- Non-Invasive and Well-Tolerated: As previously said, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy is a non-invasive procedure, which means it does not require surgical intervention or implantation of devices. It is a painless and safe treatment option; most patients tolerate it well.
- Minimal Side Effects: TMS therapy has fewer side effects than many antidepressant medications. While some patients may experience mild discomfort or minor side effects like scalp discomfort or headache during or after treatment, these effects are typically temporary and easily managed.
- Targeted Brain Stimulation: This therapy allows for precise and localized stimulation of specific brain areas, primarily the prefrontal cortex. This targeted approach minimizes the risk of affecting other brain functions and reduces the likelihood of systemic side effects.
- Non-Systemic: Unlike antidepressant medications, often taken orally and circulated throughout the body, TMS therapy acts locally on the brain.
- Outpatient Treatment: It’s typically administered on an outpatient basis. Patients can receive the treatment in a clinical setting without hospitalization or extended stays. This convenience allows individuals to continue with their daily activities.
- Long-Lasting Effects: For many patients, the benefits of TMS therapy can be stable, providing relief from depressive symptoms even after the treatment has concluded.
- Improved Quality of Life: Successful TMS treatment often leads to improved mood, increased motivation, and enhanced overall quality of life. Patients may find engaging in daily activities, maintaining relationships, and pursuing personal and professional goals easier.
Lastly, the study Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant depression investigated the antidepressant impact of TMS at a follow-up examination, revealing that TMS produced a more favorable antidepressant response in patients with unipolar depression, milder depressive episodes, treatment-resistant depression, non-psychotic depression, and those receiving concurrent antidepressant treatment.
Integrative HealthCare Center and TMS Therapy
In conclusion, TMS therapy offers a novel and hopeful method of treating major depressive disorder, particularly for individuals who do not respond well to conventional antidepressants. The advancement of TMS therapy as a therapeutic alternative brings new hope to those who are struggling with this devastating condition.
At Integrative HealthCare Center, our goal is to improve overall wellness by addressing the multifaceted nature of depression. We help our patients cope with depression, improve their quality of life, and help them regain a sense of normalcy through novel treatments such as TMS therapy.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression and looking for hope and healing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at (855) 599-9987 and schedule a free consultation to learn more about our available treatment options at our Nashua, NH, center.