Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a highly recommended depression treatment that can succeed when antidepressants have failed. According to research conducted by Harvard University, about 66% of people who have depression do not get significant relief from taking antidepressants.Such patients can benefit from an alternative depression treatment like transcranial magnetic stimulation. About 50 percent of…
Is TMS a Permanent Fix For Depression?
It has been about a decade since the FDA approved Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for treating depression and the results have been nothing short of remarkable. When other options like medication and therapy are not enough to provide results, the medical professional may recommend TMS to provide relief and initiate recovery. The question is, “is the procedure a permanent solution and how long can patients expect the results to last?” Continue reading to find out.
How long do the results last?
TMS is a form of therapy called neuro-stimulation, which works by applying magnetic pulses to areas of the brain where there has been little to no activity. TMS treatment is not a surgical procedure, and most patients often find it tolerable. Over the years, many studies have shown that TMS is safe and effective for treating depression.
When it comes to treating depression, no single solution works for everybody – the condition is complex. Since different factors affect the presentation of major depression in patients, each person responds uniquely to TMS therapy. In most situations, treatment sessions provided over a 4-6 week period will provide results that last for up to six months and longer. Regular TMS maintenance sessions may be required to extend the results. Some patients may need to be scheduled for one TMS session per month following the initial session for a particular period.
In a study presented during the American Psychiatric Association meeting in 2013, 257 people participated in a TMS clinical study and were monitored for a year with intermittent checkpoints. After a year, 69 percent of the patients noticed improvements in their symptoms, and 45 percent had full remission. Another study from Harvard discovered that 60 percent of those who had undergone TMS for depression noticed improvements. The efficiency rate is comparable to that of antidepressants.
About one-third of patients who get TMS therapy experience complete remission and become asymptomatic. However, those who relapse can quickly turn to TMS again since it was effective before.
TMS therapy with antidepressants
Some patients experience minimal side effects with antidepressants. For them, there is scientific evidence that combining these drugs and TMS therapy can augment treatment results. Eventually, patients can reduce and even stop the use of antidepressants completely once the symptoms reduce and the chemical imbalance in the brain returns to normal. Using antidepressants with TMS can also affect the efficacy of TMS treatment.
It is vital to note that TMS and antidepressants work differently in people with depression. Therefore, TMS is often effective for those who did not improve with medications. Opting for alternatives can help. The point is that it is better to get TMS than not to treat depression at all.
If you or a loved one is battling depression, TMS is a treatment option to consider. With each treatment session, patients usually notice gradual improvements in focus, energy, concentration, mood, and sleep. To know if you are a candidate for this treatment, consider booking an appointment for an evaluation.
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