The TMS Era

Mag Vita TMS Therapy

Sparking a new era in the treatment of depression, TMS therapy was developed in the 1980s when a researcher at the University of South Carolina learned that magnetic pulses can stimulate the part of the brain that is underactive in people with depression.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the noninvasive therapy in 2008 for patients who have not responded favorably to traditional treatments such as talk therapy and antidepressants, as well as those who cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressants.
“Sadly, after someone has tried three antidepressants, there is only a seven percent chance they will get well by trying a fourth,” Dr. Kawliche educates. “Those are really miserable odds. TMS more than quadruples those odds.”
The magnetic pulses emitted during TMS therapy are similar to those emitted during an MRI and are delivered in short bursts of pulses that are delivered intermittently through precise, computer-generated sequences that stimulate the brain.
TMS treatments are typically performed in a doctor’s office while the patient sits comfortably in a chair similar to a dentist’s chair and are considered to be a workout for the brain that is restorative and brings about positive changes.
“People usually start to notice those changes within two or three weeks of beginning treatment,” notes Dr. Kawliche. “They say, I have more energy; I’m thinking a little more clearly; my motivation is better, and I feel like doing things again.
“What happens is, the brain gets used to maintaining a higher level of functioning through repetition of treatments. This helps create muscle memory and oxygen flow to parts of the brain that may have been weakened by the depression.
“Something else to note is that in addition to helping to alleviate the symptoms of depression, TMS treatments also help to regulate sleep patterns and stimulate blood flow to the brain. It’s really a remarkable treatment, a true breakthrough.”

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