Depression is a growing issue for people of all ages worldwide; however, not all those who suffer from its symptoms seek the help of a psychiatrist. Many individuals may not even recognize the signs despite the prevalence of the issue. In fact, the World Health Organization notes that more than 200 million people battle depression…
Good Candidates for TMS Depression Therapy
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, can be an effective treatment for severe depression with few adverse effects. It is critical to assess who is a suitable candidate for the therapy before proceeding. This is crucial for effectiveness and to avoid difficulties or negative side effects. Continue reading to learn more about this treatment.
TMS: What is it?
TMS is a non-invasive treatment for depression that employs magnetic pulses to stimulate neural activity in the brain region that controls mood and depression. During a TMS session, the health provider will fit a patient's head with an electromagnetic coil attached to the left temple. The coil's magnetic pulses activate the cortical neurons in the brain, reducing depressive symptoms and elevating mood. The magnetic pulses also stimulate underactive brain regions, which may play a part in depression.
Candidates for TMS treatment
A person's eligibility for transcranial magnetic stimulation is determined by various criteria, including the following.
Major depressive disorder
The Food and Drug Administration has approved TMS for treating major depressive disorder. The treatment is appropriate for those who have failed to notice any remarkable improvements while taking antidepressants at the recommended dosage. It is also for those concerned about the side effects of medications or who want to avoid them entirely.
There is still mystery surrounding the elements that influence the TMS treatment response. For example, research is currently being conducted to see whether combining TMS treatment with antidepressants produces greater benefits than TMS alone.
Over the age of 18
Even though TMS treatment is considered safe and non-invasive, it is not currently available to adolescents under the age of 18. There are existing clinical trials on the impact of TMS on children and young people. Despite encouraging findings, it is still difficult to predict whether they will have long-term consequences, since their brains have yet to develop fully.
Who is not a candidate for TMS treatment?
There are certain restrictions on who can undergo TMS treatment. Not all individuals with depression are eligible. TMS treatment is not recommended for those who have a history of seizures or have metal implants or items around their heads. The TMS provider or a doctor will assess the person's suitability by looking for medical issues or metal objects that might cause interference during TMS sessions.
Patients with certain types of implants should not undergo TMS treatment because of the effects of magnetic energy. Pacemakers, vagus nerve stimulators, and implanted cardioverter defibrillators are examples of implants that function with physiological signals and could be disturbed by TMS treatment. Other prohibited items include implanted, non-removable magnetic-sensitive metals in the head or body within 12 inches of where the TMS coil would be. Examples of such objects include neck or brain stents, ferromagnetic implants around the eyes or ears, shrapnel or bullet pieces in the head region, and metallic or magnetic-sensitive ink tattoos on the face.
During TMS therapy, the embedded metal can get hot, move, or malfunction, resulting in serious harm or in the worst-case scenario, death. However, treatment is possible for those who have braces or metal tooth fillings.
How effective is TMS?
Patients contemplating undergoing TMS for the treatment of major depressive disorder should book an appointment with their doctor to discuss their options. This appointment will allow patients to evaluate different treatment options and discover the most effective and applicable therapy for them.
There is a higher chance of successfully managing the depression symptoms with a treatment plan. However, if the treatment approach is not producing the intended outcomes, TMS may be an option. Patients can talk to their health provider to learn more about the therapy and see whether they are candidates.
If the doctor feels that a patient can safely undergo TMS to control the symptoms of their depression, they will proceed to create a treatment. A regular TMS treatment includes five sessions per week, once daily, with each session lasting roughly 20 minutes.
Suppose that the healthcare provider decides that TMS is not the best choice to treat a patient with major depressive disorder. In that case, they will provide the patient with information about other therapeutic alternatives that may be more effective.
When a patient is a good candidate for TMS treatment, they have a chance to successfully treat their depression. For people who are not a suitable fit, there are alternative solutions for treating depression symptoms. Always contact a psychiatrist to determine the best course of action.
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