How TMS Therapy Treats Persistent Depression

Nov 01, 2022
How TMS Therapy Treats Persistent Depression
If you experience depression and medication and therapy haven’t helped, you might have treatment-resistant depression. Fortunately, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be the solution you’re looking for. Here’s how it works.

Millions of Americans experience depression, and while many are helped by medication and therapy, there are many others whose symptoms persist despite these more traditional approaches. In recent years, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has emerged as a therapeutic option to help people with treatment-resistant depression manage their symptoms and improve their lives.

With locations in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona, The Marcann Group has helped people with depression feel better with a customized approach to care based on each patient’s symptoms and their response to therapies. That includes offering TMS as an option for patients whose depression symptoms do not respond to medication and therapy. Here’s how it works.

The science behind TMS

Although researchers don’t completely understand the biochemical mechanisms that cause depression, what they do know is that it’s related to the production, regulation, and use of chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals support normal nerve function and communication. 

Low levels of neurotransmitters and decreased or aberrant neurotransmitter activity have been linked with depression symptoms. Most medicines used to treat depression are aimed at improving neurotransmitter production and function, although these medicines aren’t always effective.

The mechanisms of TMS also aren’t entirely understood, but the strong magnetic current appears to help by optimizing neural communication and neurotransmitter activity. It also increases circulation in specific areas of the brain, supporting normal brain metabolism.

TMS effects build up over time, and most people benefit from a series of daily treatments conducted over a period of weeks. Your therapy plan will be tailored to your depression symptoms for optimal results.

What to expect during TMS therapy

TMS therapy is performed in our office, with each treatment taking about an hour. During your treatment, you’ll sit and relax while the TMS device does the work.

The device features a special magnetic coil that rests on your head near the front of your scalp. The coil delivers precise bursts of energy that are absorbed through your skin without causing any pain or discomfort. The only sensation you may experience is a gentle tapping on your forehead as the coil cycles on and off.

These magnetic bursts are delivered to specific parts of the brain associated with depression. As the energy is absorbed into these areas, it stimulates circulation and nerve activity to help relieve depression symptoms.

Although TMS can be helpful for people with treatment-resistant depression, it’s not always the best treatment choice. In addition to recommending treatment only when other options, like therapy and medication, have failed, TMS isn’t recommended for people who have:

  • A history of seizures
  • Frequent headaches
  • Implanted medical devices, like pacemakers

It also may not be ideal for people with some other mental health disorders.

Find out if TMS is right for you

Depression can take a significant toll on your life. If medication and therapy haven’t helped, TMS could be the solution you’re looking for. To learn more about this innovative therapy for treatment-resistant depression, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at The Marcann Group today.