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Can TMS Treat Depression Completely?
TMS is a non-invasive treatment for severe depression. It is a versatile treatment. A psychiatrist can also use it for other issues. Many patients feel the positive effects of this treatment. If you want to know if TMS can result in a full recovery from depression, here are the details.
The induction process
The patient’s first appointment is referred to as the TMS induction. This involves determining motor threshold, primary treatment, and brain mapping. The doctor will mark the region on the scalp, which is the DLPFC (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Testing the lowest amount of energy to excite the brain is the patient’s resting motor threshold. This will determine the patient’s dose of magnetic stimulation during the treatment series.
What happens during the treatment
This therapy is intensive. It involves attending five weekly sessions for many weeks. Every session can last for 20-50 minutes. The length of time depends on the clinical protocol and the device. The psychiatrist will set the machine’s intensity. The motor cortex of the patient’s brain will help pinpoint the location for attaching the stimulation coil.
The doctor will also perform calculations to translate the data for finding the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain responsible for depression. One session is enough to change the excitability of the brain. The patient will only experience noticeable relief starting the third session.
The patient’s failure to improve from therapy and medications means the patient will need an alternative treatment. TMS is an effective and non-invasive method to remove depression symptoms. Most patients experience complete recovery from depression. This is an encouraging outcome for patients, but the remission is not permanent. Depression may still recur.
Most patients feel so much better months after the treatment. The average response period is a year or so. Coming back for follow-up treatments can happen. Patients without any response to TMS may consider ECT.
The interaction between the brain and this treatment
TMS makes use of magnetic pulses to interact with the neurons. These targeted nerve cells are in the sections of the brain responsible for depression and mood regulation. The coil delivers the magnetic pulses through the scalp and skull without pain. These pulses reach the neurons and trigger the release of chemical signals. This increases and activates these neurotransmitters. High levels of chemical signals improve mood regulation.
How long the effects last
The cause of depression is not known yet. Even so, several factors contribute to it. This includes stress, substance use, genes, and health conditions. Depression often springs up as a combination of several factors capable of altering the way the brain works.
The different combinations of factors in depression result in no set TMS results. There is also no set period of effectiveness either. Patients with a full course of treatment improve for six months to at least a year. TMS effectiveness offers hope for patients with treatment-resistant depression. These patients do not experience improvements with psychotherapy and medications. TMS can help their symptoms improve, helping them go back to their normal daily routines.
Things to know about a TMS series
The first part of the treatment consists of five treatments every week for six weeks. Tapering treatments will follow during the next 36 treatments. Every session lasts for about 20 to 40 minutes. The patient will stay awake in a relaxing room. A magnetized wand will stay on the patient’s head. It will deliver a magnetic impulse to the target area of the brain responsible for mood regulation.
This target area is the DLPFC. It is above the left eye, over the front of the brain. This non-invasive treatment does not need anesthesia. The patient can drive home alone right after each session. There are no diet restrictions. The patient can also take all the maintenance medications according to schedule.
Work or school can get too busy. This can make some patients skip proper health and mental checks. Sometimes, a patient may miss regular daily TMS sessions. Working with the doctor can help set schedules that fit the patient’s personal and clinical needs.
TMS is a treatment capable of improving your depression symptoms
You can have a TMS therapy if you are non-responsive to standard depression treatments. This will involve several treatment schedules until the patient experiences remission. The symptoms can disappear, but it depends on the condition of the patient and the psychiatrist’s device. The results are complete, but you should have follow-ups to ensure optimal outcomes.
Get more information about Evolve Psychiatry in Massapequa at https://www.evolvepsychiatry.com.
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