New Options to Treat Depression
There are new options to treat depression other than the standard options of medications and psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy, counseling, or just therapy). If medication were not effective and therapy was not effective, ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) was often used. However, this has side effects which most people find unacceptable (memory loss which can be permanent). The patient also has to undergo anesthesia, and it is very disruptive to both the patient’s life and the life of family members (who need to take the patient to ECT treatment and drive them home).
TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) is a new option to treat depression. It doesn’t have the unacceptable side effects of ECT. It doesn’t have the side effects of memory loss, there is no anesthesia, and the patient can work and drive right after the procedure. These make TMS a great new option to treat depression for those patients that haven’t responded to traditional treatment for depression and want a safe, efficacious, with minimal side effect treatment. For those curious how the treatment works, you first would have your “mapping session” where you would “map” out to find the “depression center” of your brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is done by taking measurements of your head and using a computer program to measure the correct distance from areas measured.
Once the spot is identified, this will be the treatment area. The next thing to do is to find the motor threshold. This is done by stimulating the motor cortex in the area that will make the patient’s thumb twitch. You try to find the lowest strength that will make the right thumb twitch. When this is found, the treatment is ready to begin, and the treatment can be delivered.
If this is something that you feel would be beneficial, you can contact Dr. Tanner’s office here to setup an appointment.