Depression affects millions of individuals, and the causes are not completely understood. Not all individuals respond well to psychotherapy or prescription drugs. One of the newer techniques used to treat depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS). The path to healing may be complex, and TMS therapy may be suggested only after other methods have been tried without success. It’s a good idea for individuals battling feelings of depression to consult with our team of professionals in order to get an idea of how TMS therapy works.
What is TMS Therapy?
TMS therapy involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. This is not the same as electroconvulsive therapy. Instead, this non-invasive treatment targets areas of the brain that are under-stimulated, primarily the prefrontal cortex.
Magnetic coils are placed on the scalp and the electromagnetic field is charged in a series of pulses. During the first session, the specialist identifies the client’s motor threshold. The amount of magnetic field strength is determined. This allows us to customize subsequent treatments.
TMS therapy sessions take very little time to complete. Most sessions are performed in less just minutes. The usual schedule is multiple TMS therapy treatment sessions per week.
Results of Treatment
Although the mechanism by which the brain responds to electromagnetic stimulation isn’t completely understood, one thing is clear: The stimulated nerves tend to become more active, and this helps the client with feelings of depression or confusion.
The brain is a complex organ, and the prefrontal cortex responds differently to various forms of stimulation. Those individuals who battle depression are generally experiencing a blockage of nerve signal transmission. Whatever the cause, the individual appears to experience an improvement in overall mood when a series of TMS therapy treatments are performed.
The Ideal Candidate
Candidates for TMS therapy include adults who have been diagnosed with major depression and who have not responded well to antidepressant medications. This is a promising new treatment for those suffering from major depression. However, we cannot recommend TMS therapy without first consulting with you and examining your medical records. To learn more, contact us today at Montana Psychiatry & Brain Health Center in Billings, MT to schedule a consultation.