TMS is a key component of MeRT treatment for depression. And a recent article in the Psychiatric News provides compelling evidence that TMS should be first-line treatment for moderate to severe Major Depressive Disorder. (A first-line treatment simply means one that a patient receives first.)
The article was written by Dr. Richard Bermudez, the chief medical officer at Mindful Health Solutions in San Francisco and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Bermudez has been using TMS in his practice since 2009.
In the article, he discusses the APA (American Psychiatric Association) Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder, published in 2010. In those guidelines, the APA states that there’s not enough evidence to support the use of TMS as an initial treatment for Major Depressive Disorder.
However, Dr. Bermudez points out, the past ten years of studies paint a different picture. He writes:
Given the growing compelling evidence, TMS should be offered as a treatment option for patients who are treatment naïve or who have failed one antidepressant in the current episode.”
TMS for Major Depressive Disorder: Better Results and Fewer Side Effects
Per the article, the most recent studies show that TMS treatment for Major Depressive Disorder achieves better results than other forms of treatment. For example, patients treated with TMS have a 95% response rate and a 63% remission rate after six weeks. Medications, in comparison, achieved a 36% remission rate.
Plus, TMS treatment has none of the side effects common with SSRIs and other medications for depression. These include weight gain, premature diabetes, and sexual side effects.
How Does TMS Work to Treat Depression?
TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses gentle magnetic pulses to awaken parts of the brain that are underactive in people who suffer from depression. And TMS is a key part of our MeRT treatment protocol for depression.
The Mayo Clinic describes how physical changes to the brain can cause depression:
Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neurocircuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.”
TMS works to improve the function of these neurotransmitters. And TMS is an FDA-Cleared Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder.
Combined with comprehensive EEG testing, we use TMS as part of the MeRT protocol to bring balance to brainwave activity. This treatment is precise and highly individualized for each patient. And we have seen some remarkable results with depression treatment using this form of targeted TMS:
I felt like I was alone even though I was surrounded by love and care. It was just a cloud that would linger over my life every now and again. The Brain Treatment Center helped me understand what was going on in my head and after a month of treatment, I was grateful to be DEPRESSION-FREE and MEDICATION-FREE for the first time in my life.” — MeRT Patient
Are You Suffering From Major Depressive Disorder?
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