Depression is sometimes called the common cold of mental illness. It affects up to 350 million people worldwide to varying degrees. Medications and talk therapy are the first line of defense, but the food and drug administration has approved a magnetic pulse therapy, as another tool for patients.
“The magnetic stimulation stimulates cells to wake them up,” says Evie Jacobs a TMS coordinator. “The magnetic pulse makes them do what they are supposed to do.”
The pulse is centered on a part of the skull, which has been previously measured and controlled by computer memory.
“The treatment site is about so big,” says Jacobs gesturing with her fingers. “The pulse is in the general location of the circle. When it’s centered there, we’re in the location.”
One treatment lasts about 25 minutes. A patient with depressive mood disorder can expect to get 36 treatments. There are no known side effects, except for the occasional headache, which can be treated with ibuprofen.
Leslie Wilson is a businesswoman who couldn’t afford to be depressed. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation worked for her.
“It took about half way through I think,” says Wilson. “I had the conversation with them, that something, felt different.” It’s not an overnight process.
Insurance companies can still be slow to approve payment for TMS.
“We fight very hard here at the Indianapolis TMS,” says Jacobs. “Because it’s so new, a lot of places don’t know about it. We’ve had some insurance companies initially deny it, saying it’s an experimental treatment. It’s just not known.”
Patients are awake and alert for treatments and can resume their normal activities immediately after a treatment.
For more information on TMS click here.