Revolutionizing Depression Treatment
By: Dr Gorav Gupta
What if there was a way to cure depression completely without relying on medication? A groundbreaking treatment called Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS) is revolutionizing the fields of psychiatry, neurology, and pain medicine, offering new hope for those suffering from depression and other mental illnesses.
Deep TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic waves to stimulate specific areas of the brain for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. By targeting and repairing neurons in these regions, Deep TMS has shown remarkable results in treating depression and other mental health conditions. Studies indicate that about 75 percent of individuals who underwent Deep TMS experienced positive outcomes, with roughly half of them achieving complete remission.
One of the most significant advantages of Deep TMS is its FDA approval as an alternative to medication for depression treatment. Unlike traditional antidepressants, which can cause side effects such as weight gain, sleep disturbances, decreased libido, and cognitive impairment, Deep TMS offers a safe and side-effect-free approach.
Deep TMS also outshines Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) as it is a non-surgical procedure that does not require electrode implantation. This factor contributes to its appeal and acceptance among patients seeking effective treatment for depression. Given its impressive results and safety profile, the FDA approved TMS therapy in 2008 for major depression and treatment-resistant depression. Although it has other applications in the field of psychiatry, Deep TMS is particularly effective in treating depression, which affects one out of every six adults at some point in their lives. Depression knows no age barrier and is recognized as the most disabling condition worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Traditional antidepressants work for about two-thirds of patients, but one-third is classified as treatment-resistant, failing to respond to medications and psychotherapy. For these individuals, Deep TMS offers a ray of hope, providing a promising path to complete remission and a life free from the burden of depression. So, how does Deep TMS differ from standard TMS? The key distinction lies in the depth of magnetic pulse penetration.
Deep TMS utilizes a special coil that can reach deeper areas of the brain, leading to more widespread stimulation. This technology has also gained FDA approval for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and smoking cessation. The therapy works by inducing an electric current in specific brain regions through electromagnetic induction.
During the procedure, a magnetic coil is attached to the scalp, connected to an electric pulse generator or stimulator. This generates a changing electric current in the coil, creating a varying magnetic field that induces a current within the targeted brain region. Undergoing Deep TMS treatment is quick, comfortable, and safe. Patients simply wear a helmet during the session, allowing the machine to transmit targeted magnetic waves to the specific area of the brain.
The sensation is not painful and is often described as feeling like a light tapping on the side of the head. The neuroscience behind Deep TMS is fascinating. The stimulation is delivered to the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area found to be more active in individuals with depression compared to those without the condition. By targeting this region, Deep TMS aims to normalize brain activity and alleviate depressive symptoms. Comparing Deep TMS to other therapies reveals its numerous advantages.
Unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Deep TMS is non-invasive, does not require anesthesia, and does not induce seizures. Furthermore, there is minimal downtime or recovery period, and the procedure can be performed as a walk-in treatment. ECT, on the other hand, necessitates general anesthesia and may lead to memory loss in some patients.
As medical science continues to evolve, Deep TMS stands out as a beacon of progress in the quest to conquer depression and bring relief to countless individuals suffering from this debilitating condition. With its non-invasive approach and significant efficacy, Deep TMS has the potential to revolutionize mental health treatment and offer a new lease on life for those struggling with depression.
(The author is Founder & Director – Tulasi Healthcare)