Every year, more than 17 million individuals in the United States deal with depression. Depression, characterized by disruptions in a person's emotions, behavior, and thoughts, deprives a person of their ability to experience pleasure in life. Patients often experience a state of near-total numbness or persistent grief. The psychiatrist will typically recommend the proper treatment…
rTMS for Depression is a Non-Invasive Psychiatric Treatment
When conventional therapies for depression have failed to alleviate patients' symptoms, rTMS is a non-invasive psychiatry treatment typically used as a second line of defense. The priority treatments for depression include antidepressant drugs and talk therapy. However, if medicine or therapy has not been successful, rTMS might be an alternative or complementary treatment. rTMS has also been studied for use in treating other neurological illnesses.
The mechanism of rTMS
Neuroplasticity, or the brain's capacity to alter and adapt in response to new experiences, is thought to be the target of rTMS. On the whole, rTMS facilitates the synchronization of neurons, leading to increased firing activity in the brain. Moreover, neurons prefer to fire in more beneficial patterns when they fire together consistently.
Neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in mood regulation, has been demonstrated to vary in response to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Major depressive disorder is characterized by dysregulation of brain activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. TMS uses high-frequency electromagnetic pulses to address the underlying pathophysiology of depression.
What to expect during rTMS treatment
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) requires medical supervision and a treatment plan devised by a mental health professional. rTMS courses typically last between four and six weeks and consist of 5 sessions per week. Sessions might take anything from 30 minutes to an hour.
The TMS doctor or a trained technician under the physician's supervision performs the sessions. Before commencing treatment, patients must remove any magnet-sensitive objects, including jewelry and credit cards. Due to the loud clicking sound produced by each rTMS pulse, patients will get earplugs to protect their hearing throughout the TMS treatment process.
When the patient is comfortable, the doctor will place the coil over their head. The doctor will use a series of short pulses to determine the person's "motor threshold." Motor threshold is the lowest possible power required to make the patient's thumb twitch. The quantity of energy needed to stimulate the brain cells differs from person to person, and this threshold guides the provider's decisions.
When therapy starts, patients will experience a succession of clicks and a tapping feeling beneath the coil. There is no need for sedation or anesthesia during this procedure, so patients may go about their day as usual right after it is over.
rTMS produces clinically substantial improvements in depression symptoms from pre- to post-treatment, and the therapy is well-tolerated by patients. While rTMS has no significant risks after delivery, it should be used with care during pregnancy.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mental health issue that affects people all over the globe. Current treatments for MDD have limited success and come with undesirable side effects, thus the need for new approaches. In 2008, the FDA approved repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). rTMS is now accepted as a therapeutic option in many countries and is being considered as first line of treatment for treatment-resistant depression. If you have additional questions about TMS therapy as a non-invasive psychiatry treatment, book an appointment with the psychiatrist today.
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