TMS in the News

September 9, 2022

SAINT is a noninvasive nerve modulation therapy used for people with treatment-resistant depression. The findings are promising but further research is needed.

November 7, 2021

Depression remains the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting almost 300 million people, half of whom can’t find lasting relief from drugs or therapy. But a new experimental treatment using a fast-acting approach with targeted magnetic stimulation, called SAINT (Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy), has achieved significant success in trials.

October 29, 2021

A condensed five-day transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) protocol appears to reduce symptoms of treatment-resistant depression safely and effectively, according to a report published today in AJP in Advance.

April 7, 2020

The treatment, a form of magnetic brain stimulation, isn’t entirely new. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has already been approved by the FDA as a treatment for depression, but the team at Stanford has updated and improved on the treatment by ramping up the number of magnetic pulses, speeding up the treatment schedule, and focusing more closely on specific brain areas.

March 18, 2020

The FDA granted breakthrough device designation to the NeuroStar Advanced Therapy System for the treatment of bipolar depression, according to a press release from Neuronetics Inc., the device’s manufacturer.

July 22, 2019

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is an FDA-approved, noninvasive treatment for major depression using magnetic pulses targeted at a specific location on the brain.

TMS is a completely outpatient procedure and is gaining momentum in the behavioral health community as an effective alternative treatment for medication-resistant depression.

April 25, 2019

It may soon be possible to make individualized treatment plans for different subsets of patients with treatment-resistant major depression, using a type of non-invasive brain stimulation therapy called TMS.

This is the implication of a new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, in which a team from Canada followed up on the results of a clinical trial they published last year. That trial demonstrated the equal effectiveness of two forms of TMS therapy (transcranial magnetic stimulation) in patients with major depression who had failed to respond to one or more prior antidepressant treatments.

April 19, 2019

The past two weeks have been frenetic for Bre Hushaw, who is now known to millions of people as the girl in the depression helmet.

Hushaw has been hearing from people all around the world who want to try it, or at least want to know how it works. Her life as a meme began when she agreed to an on-camera interview with the local-news site for a story headlined “Helmet Approved by FDA to Treat Depression Available in Arizona.” The feel-good tale of Hushaw’s miraculous recovery from severe depression was tossed into the decontextualizing maw of the internet and distilled down to a screenshot of a young woman looking like a listless Stormtrooper.

January 28, 2019

A non-drug therapy used to treat anxiety and depression has been proven to be beneficial, doctors and patients say – but for Nova Scotian Susan Wood, getting that help was a significant challenge.

Wood‘s depression left her in a state she describes as “absolute exhaustion,” in which she estimates that she was functioning at 40 per cent of her normal level.

“[It] took a great amount of effort just to get two feet on the floor and move forward with each little step in the day,” Wood said in an interview.

November 8, 2018

Gary Smith was just 17 when he started experiencing feelings of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. Looking back he puts his low self-esteem and mental health problem to abuse first from a family friend when he was just a toddler and then later as a teenager by a man he worked for.

To cope with the PTSD symptoms in his late teens, Gary smoked marijuana and later started abusing ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine and alcohol regularly on the weekends, to the point where he would often black out.

August 27, 2018

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation, and how does it work? Is it effective for treating depression?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It’s a noninvasive procedure that usually requires about 25 to 30 treatment sessions. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to effectively improve symptoms of depression, particularly in people who haven’t seen improvement with other treatments, such as antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.

July 27, 2018

ORANGE, Calif. – For about 30 percent of adults with major depression, simply taking medications isn’t effective enough. This group has what doctors call “treatment-resistant” depression and finding relief can often be frustrating.

But there are new alternatives that don’t involve medication at all, neuro-stimulators that prod certain parts of the brain to work.

Carolyn Radillo has been fighting treatment-resistant depression since she was a teenager. She’s tried therapy, many medications and has been hospitalized four times without much relief.

Her doctor told her about a new treatment and she was open to trying it.

July 23, 2018

If you follow neuroscience and neuroengineering, it’s hard to ignore the offerings of cutting-edge research seeming to reanimate an antediluvian procedure of pelting the brain with electricity. Today’s more modern and civilized brain zapping is less invasive, more controlled and uses various levels of direct and alternating electrical currents to repair and augment a panoply of different cognitive functions. Results range from relieving severe, treatment-resistant depression, jumpstarting vocabulary recall, enhancing math skills, boosting self-control, fortifying the aging brain as well as reducing the intention to commit violent acts and sexual assault.

July 12, 2018

The National Institutes of Health reports that about 30 percent of adults with major depression don’t respond to treatment.

But those people have an alternative that doesn’t involve medication and is non-invasive. There are a new generation of neurostimulators, which prod certain parts of the brain to work.

Carolyn Radillo has been fighting treatment-resistant depression since she was a teenager. She’s had lots of therapy, many medications and has been hospitalized four times without much relief.

July 12, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Major depression is one of the most common medical disorders in the United States. Unfortunately, many people go untreated or have trouble finding medications that work. But there’s a newer treatment that’s literally tapping into a patient’s brain to ease the depression without serious side effects.

This treatment, known as transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, changed a Florida mom’s life. We’ll call her “Gina” because she doesn’t want to reveal her identity due to the stigma associated with depression. However, she does want everyone to know her story in hopes of helping save someone else.

June 30, 2018

Sessions of magnetic brain stimulation therapy lasting just over three minutes significantly reduce depression symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant depression. That’s according to the largest study of its kind comparing a standard form of brain stimulation with a newer, shorter version that could potentially treat a larger percentage of depression patients.

May 29, 2018

It’s every psychiatrist’s dilemma: Two patients sit in front of you, displaying the same symptoms and the same diagnosis. After going through the same treatment, one recovers and one doesn’t. What’s the difference?

It very well could be inside the brain itself. Scientists have learned a lot about the brain in the last few decades, but mental illnesses are still diagnosed based on symptoms—the visible tips of a tower hidden in fog. But for each person a different part of the tower may be broken.

May 24, 2018

According to the latest estimates, more than 300 million people worldwide are living with depression. Medication and talk therapy are effective treatments for most patients— but not all.

If first-line treatments don’t work, some people with depression turn to brain stimulation therapies. One such treatment is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which uses a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells — or neurons — in the regions of the brain that regulate mood. When stimulated, the neurons release neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are otherwise depleted in people with depression.

May 7, 2018

A specific kind of brain stimulation may be effective in reducing suicidal thinking in people with hard-to-treat depression, as well as other mental illnesses, according to a study. Forty per cent of people in the study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, reported that they no longer experienced suicidal thoughts after receiving bilateral repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

“This is one of the first large studies showing rTMS is effective in treating suicidal ideation,” said Jeff Daskalakis from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada. “The effects on suicidal ideation were independent of effects on depressive symptom.”

May 7, 2018

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may help improve refractory depression in patients with borderline personality disorder, according to research presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting.

“Borderline personality disorder patients have a high lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder,” wrote poster presenter Hyewon Helen Lee, MD, in an abstract presented May 7. “However, it has been previously found that there are poorer outcomes of electroconvulsive therapy and antidepressants among this population.”​

April 11, 2018

It’s the No. 1 cause for disability, according to the World Health Organization. About 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and Judie Main of Renton is one of them. Judie says life feels like a fog. “With my depression it got so bad like I said I slept most of December,” Main said. No motivation, no happiness and no laughter.

April 2, 2018

Some pill-averse patients have longed for a natural cure for depression, while others complain that the drugs they’re on aren’t enough. Hope for both groups may have arrived through an unlikely source: magnets.

March 14, 2018

For most of my 46 years, I have battled mild to severe depression and anxiety. Mood disorders run like a sticky red tape through my family, so it wasn’t a surprise that I needed a psychiatrist’s care starting as a young child. He helped me push on through middle and high school.

But when I went to college – away from my support system – I started thinking about suicide. Hearing this, a campus psychiatrist had me hospitalized, which only increased my despair. I attempted suicide and was institutionalized even longer.

March 12, 2018

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), a therapy in which electromagnetic fields are pulsed through a coil placed on the scalp, can produce antidepressant effects in individuals who are resistant to or unable to tolerate standard antidepressant drugs. Now, a new study published in the journal BrainStimulation suggests that a new means of delivering rTMS, a “two-coil array,” can be safely used and may help to stimulate deeper areas of the brain than the current single-coil designs.
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