TMS therapy for treating depression – How effective is it?

According to recent research, it was said that the relapse rate for patients who were suffering from treatment-resistant depression were much lower after they underwent TMS therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation as compared to those who were on drugs. 6 month results from 2 different studies presented at the meeting showed that only 10-12% of patients obtaining a remission suffered from relapses after undergoing the TMS therapy.

This compares with the relapse rate of around 40% over 12 months in treatment with drugs and anti-depressants and yet the relapse rates following the TMS therapy remains at the same ballpark. Depression usually has a heavy depth and it also stays for a long time. For many, talking therapy and other drugs can ease this condition but this doesn’t work for everyone. Among the relatively new options which might help, using magnetic fields is good for stimulating your brain. Read on to know on how TS therapy can help people with depression.

TMS – How does it work?

Undergoing this therapy known as transcranial magnetic stimulation is comparatively easy because you have to sit on a chair which looks similar to a dentist’s chair. Your head is gently held and the magnetic coil is placed on one side of the scalp. The treatment begins as soon as the person doing it knows that the pulses will be sent to the right part of the brain.

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed at your scalp near your forehead. The electromagnet then delivers magnetic pulse which in turn stimulates your nerve cells in the region of the brain which controls your mood and depression. This process can even activate some other regions which have slower activity due to depression. The stimulation that is caused by the electromagnet affects the portion of the brain and this in turn eases other symptoms of depression and enhances your mood.

You won’t need any kind of anesthesia for this TMS treatment and hence you can drive back to home even after getting a session of it. The only common side effect which you may or may not get is mild to moderate headache or pain in the scalp where the machine was kept actually. These magnetic pulses can often be loud enough and hence the person who underwent this therapy can hear a ringing sensation in his ears due to the noise of the treatment. If you can wear earphones or earplugs during the treatment, this may help.

Is it the right option for you?

Since this therapy stimulates the brain, it is compared to ECT or electroconvulsive therapy which is one of the age-old therapies for treating depression. Since ECT is still unaccepted in many places in the world, TMS can be considered as an effective method. TMS involves more time and effort than medication and you also don’t need to go through the discomfort of anesthesia.

Therefore, if you’re related to someone suffering from depression, you can let him know about the TMS therapy as it can be effective enough to cure it once and for all and provide him with a normal and happy life.

Leave a Reply