If you’re suffering from depression and have tried various therapies without the desired results, consider options for TMS treatment near Portland. TMS is transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment, an increasingly popular option for patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD). It’s a safe, FDA-cleared approach that has brought relief to countless individuals without the side effects associated with antidepressant medications.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment has proven particularly effective for those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), or depression that fails to respond after two antidepressant drug therapies.
TMS treatment involves using a highly focused, pulsed magnetic field to reach the deeper regions of the brain involved in mood regulation and emotional motivation. So, by stimulating the portion of the brain responsible for many symptoms of depression, TMS provides patients with a proven approach to managing their conditions.
Although TMS treatment is a relatively new treatment for depression, it has been in use for decades. Scientists have used TMS in research settings since the mid-1980s to investigate different brain functions. And in the 1990s, researchers began studying the potential of TMS as an antidepressant therapy. The FDA cleared the NeuroStar TMS treatment device for use in 2008, in part due to evidence that it provided an effective solution for patients with TRD. More studies have been conducted over the years, further reinforcing that TMS can be an effective treatment for MDD and TRD.
At Active Recovery TMS, we can offer both types of TMS treatment: BrainsWay’s dTMS and NeuroStar TMS Therapy. A newer form of technology, dTMS uses a different kind of coil to create the magnetic field. With dTMS, magnetic pulses travel more deeply, allowing the therapy to stimulate more parts of the brain and provide broader stimulation of the targeted region of the brain involved in MDD, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. NeuroStar’s rTMS treatment protocol has recently been redesigned to reduce treatment time to just under 20 minutes with some variation from patient to patient. There is no evidence to indicate any difference in efficacy in the two treatment protocols.
TMS treatment is conducted on an outpatient basis, with no sedation or anesthesia administered. As a patient, you would be free to resume normal activities — including driving — immediately after a session. And, each treatment can take as little as 20 minutes, five days a week. At Active Recovery TMS, which provides TMS treatment near Portland, patients participate in a six-week regimen to achieve results.
Before starting TMS therapy, patients should expect to have a consultation to determine if they are a good candidate for the treatment. One issue to consider when deciding on TMS is your medical history. It is important to disclose to your TMS coordinator:
Plus, it is a good idea to let the treatment coordinator know if you are taking any medications or antidepressants. It is still unclear if taking antidepressants during or after treatment increases the likelihood of success. However, it appears that taking such medication during treatment does not pose any safety risks.
Because TMS treatment involves a magnetic field — not dissimilar to that of an MRI — it is critical to disclose any metal or electronic objects in your body that could impact your health. Once cleared to receive treatment, patients remove any other metal-containing items from their body — such as jewelry, keys and smartphones — and get seated comfortably.
For the TMS treatment itself, patients feel a tapping sensation on the scalp. Patients also hear a “clicking” noise. Earplugs are typically provided to prevent discomfort from the sound, and the risk of any permanent hearing loss from the procedure is extremely low.
Immediately following treatment, a provider should note if you experienced any side effects. In general, the side effects of TMS are relatively benign and short-lived. Side effects may involve:
And, importantly, TMS treatment has been shown to produce no systemic side effects nor adverse effects on cognition or sleep. In comparison, drug therapies are associated with a range of side effects: blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, headache or migraine, insomnia, nausea, sexual dysfunction and weight gain. Plus, other treatments, like electroconvulsive therapy, can result in short-term memory loss or bring on other effects from the anesthesia required.
Numerous randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated that repetitive TMS therapy is effective for MDD. Clinics providing TMS treatment near Portland have had success, as well. At Active Recovery TMS, for instance, most patients have shown improvement in their degree of depression severity.
One way to measure depression severity is with the Patient Health Questionnaire 9, or PHQ-9, where patients self-report the regularity of certain thoughts or behaviors. Each behavior is scored based on frequency, and the higher the final tally, the more severe the case of depression. After TMS therapy, 79% of Active Recovery TMS patients showed a greater than 25% reduction in their PHQ-9 scores, more than 56% experienced a 50% reduction in their scores, and over one-third achieved remission scores.
While the recommended treatment period for TMS therapy is six weeks, it may take more or less time for patients to experience improvement. Each individual is unique and thus has a unique response to any health treatment. But, most trials show that patients often see improvement by their fourth week receiving TMS therapy. Clinical studies have shown that 67% of patients respond well to TMS.
And, the longer-term effects of TMS treatment are promising. In clinical trials, 45% of patients that responded well to TMS therapy have been able to maintain remission 12 months after treatment. Plus, repeat or maintenance sessions of TMS therapy have been shown to help keep depressive symptoms at bay.
Treating depression is a challenge, as no two patients respond the exact same way to a prescribed course of action. Often, patients turn to antidepressant medication or psychotherapy, or a combination of solutions. But if you’ve tried various combinations of therapy and medication without achieving the desired result, then TMS treatment may be right for you.
For TMS treatment near Portland, consider a consultation with Active Recovery TMS. Our flagship location is in Northwest Portland, and two satellite offices are opening soon:
Many patients have found that TMS is an effective way to manage and cope with their depression on a daily basis. Plus, many insurance companies cover TMS services. Contact us today at 503.389.0961 to get started.