LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression impacts more than 16 million Americans.
Sadly, in some people, medication doesn’t work. Now, more and more, researchers are finding there is something that is helpful in some patients who have exhausted every other option. It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS.
It’s a non-invasive procedure which uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
Dr. Sarah Wakefield is chairman of the department of Psychiatry at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She says, “We use electrical impulses from a coil that is placed next to a patient’s head to create a magnetic field. That magnetic field actually passes through the skull and increases activity of neurons.”
She explains that all thoughts, perceptions and behaviors are the result of neurons interacting with each other. So at TTUHSC, they are using TMS to target those neurons and enhance the signals.
It is not a quick fix. The therapy takes 36 sessions over the course of about 6 weeks.
But TMS has been a lifesaver for Dana Bear, whose severe depression has triggered suicidal thoughts for years.
To learn more about TMS from Dr. Wakefield and hear how it has helped Dana, click on the attached video.