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Treatment Resistant Depression: How TMS Can Help

May 12, 2022

Treatment Resistant Depression impacts an estimated one third of individuals with major depressive disorder who do not respond to traditional antidepressant medication treatments.

“Although there is some disagreement as to how to define treatment-resistant depression, a patient is generally considered to have it if the individual hasn’t responded to adequate doses of two different antidepressants taken for a sufficient duration of time, which is usually six weeks,” explains Jaskaran Singh, M.D., Senior Director of Neuroscience, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

Treatment-resistant depression is a serious, chronic, and often debilitating condition. The impact of not responding to traditional antidepressants can be significant, including an increased risk for suicide.

While the terms "treat-resistant" and "no hope" might appear to be synonymous, tools do now exist to assist those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. Optimization, switching, combination, augmentation, and somatic treatments are five main treatment methods psychiatrists may utilize to develop a unique treatment strategy for patients, according to a 2012 research published in the journal Patient Preference and Adherence. TMS happens to be one of those "somatic treatments."

TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS therapy was FDA approved in 2008 for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults who have failed to receive benefit from traditional antidepressant medications.

As a result, TMS has become an increasingly attractive treatment option for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Some of the greatest benefits of TMS therapy include:

  • TMS is non-invasive and does not require anesthesia
  • There are no systemic side effects (such as those associated with medications)
  • TMS has a high success rate in treating depression. Approximately 50% to 60% of people with depression who have tried and failed to receive benefit from medications experience a clinically meaningful response with TMS therapy

If you or someone you know is struggling with treatment-resistant depression, don't give up hope. TMS may be an option worth considering. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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We provide life-changing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for medication-resistant depression. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our Treatment Coordination Specialists!