Finding Depression Treatment Near Me
Options in Amherst, MA
Being saddled with a persistent case of the blues can be life altering. Living with ongoing depression can hobble a person’s life on all fronts, removing the motivation to accomplish even the most routine daily tasks. In the extreme, major depression can sideline an individual from participating in activities they once enjoyed, leading to isolation that only exacerbates the already debilitating symptoms.
Antidepressants Often Fail to Alleviate Depression Symptoms
Just a decade or two ago it was widely assumed—and embraced—that antidepressant drug therapy was the magic ticket to finally pushing depression symptoms to the curb. What has been reported in recent long-term studies on the effects of these medications shines a different light on the formerly held assumptions.
Research out of McMaster University in 2015 made news when the data indicated that much of the improvement in depression symptoms is due to the placebo effect. In reality, only 50% of patients find relief from symptoms after a trial of one antidepressant, and about 32% after two or more drugs are trialed. About 5 million patients are found to be treatment-resistant each year.
Couple these disappointing statistics with the often intolerable side effects that go hand-in-hand with antidepressant medications leads many patients who suffer from depression to give up hope of a cure. However, a recent alternative treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technology, has shown great promise in relieving depression symptoms, offering new hope to thousands of sufferers.
TMS Depression Treatment Amherst, MA
To treat depression, TMS uses the power of magnets created by a technology that is similar to an MRI. The magnetic field is then directed toward the left prefrontal cortex of the brain through an H-coil system, which is placed on the patient’s head. This results in the induction of electrical currents that can “wake up” underactive neurons in the limbic region, the mood center of the brain.
After repeated treatment sessions over several weeks, TMS Depression Treatment Amherst, MA can result in rebalanced brain chemistry. The positive effects of the TMS treatment starts to show up after about ten sessions, or two weeks. At that time a majority of patients experience improvements in the quality of sleep. As the treatment continues, noticeable improvements in concentration, decision-making, and mood begin to take place.
What Can I Expect in a TMS Treatment Session?
What makes TMS therapy so attractive is the fact that it does not require the patient to be sedated, eliminating all the risks associated with anesthesia. During a TMS treatment session the patient is fully alert and will be seated comfortably. The doctor will position a helmet that contains the H-soil over the scalp and determine the level of magnetic energy needed. The patient may feel a tapping sensation on the scalp where the pulses are being delivered.
As the session proceeds, patients can watch television or listen to music for the duration. Once the session ends the patient is able to drive back to their home or office to continue with normal daily activities. TMS requires no down time. Standard TMS Depression Treatment Amherst, MA lasts for 4-6 weeks. Each week there are five 20-minute TMS sessions prescribed.
Risks and Rewards of TMS Therapy
Past and currently ongoing clinical studies have shown that, in addition to its efficacy in treating depression, TMS is very well tolerated with no long-term side effects. Some minor adverse effects have been reported, such as mild headache or scalp discomfort, but in most cases these symptoms decrease over time as the sessions continue. Furthermore, there is a very low patient drop-out rate, indicating the tolerability of TMS therapy.
Sham-controlled clinical studies undertaken around the world have demonstrated statistically significant response and remission rates for TMS therapy. Patients take the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale prior to receiving treatment that assigns a value that corresponds to the severity of the depressive episode. After the trials are completed, there is a significant improvement in the test scores following treatment.
Achieve TMS East Depression Treatment Amherst, MA
Achieve TMS East has opened a fifth Massachusetts office location in Amherst, offering this exciting breakthrough depression treatment to the wider Hampshire County area. The expert and compassionate doctors specialize in deep TMS (dTMS) therapy for treating medication-resistant depression. Contact our office for a consultation and insurance verification at (877) 297-5816.