An article in the October 2022 edition of Psychiatric News provides compelling evidence to consider TMS as a first-line treatment for moderate-to-severe Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). And TMS is a key element of our MeRT treatment for Depression.
Dr. Richard Bermudez, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Francisco, wrote the article. He has been using TMS as a treatment for MDD for over a decade.
He writes about how the APA (American Psychiatric Association) published its Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder in 2010.
In those guidelines, the APA states that there’s not enough evidence to support the use of TMS as an initial treatment for Major Depressive Disorder.
However, as Dr. Bermudez points out, a lot has changed since then. He cites the past ten years of studies that show the effectiveness of TMS as an initial treatment for MDD.
Per the article, patients treated with TMS have a 95% response rate and a 63% remission rate after six weeks. Medications, in comparison, achieved a 36% remission rate.
Plus, TMS treatment has none of the side effects common with depression medications. These include weight gain, premature diabetes, and sexual side effects.
Dr. Bermudez writes:
As I read the guidelines recently and considered the number of new outcome studies conducted with TMS, I believe TMS should be considered in addition to pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder.”
…Given the growing compelling evidence, TMS should be offered as a treatment option for patients who are treatment naïve or who have failed one antidepressant in the current episode.”
TMS for Major Depressive Disorder: How it Works
The Mayo Clinic describes how physical changes to the brain can cause depression:
Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neurocircuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.”
TMS is a key part of our MeRT protocol for depression, using magnetic waves to stimulate areas of the brain to improve communication, balance, and connectivity. It is non-invasive, painless, and requires no drugs or anesthesia.
And TMS is an FDA-Cleared Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder.
Combined with comprehensive EEG testing, we use precisely targeted TMS to bring balance to brainwave activity. This treatment is highly individualized for each patient. And we have seen some remarkable results with depression treatment with MeRT:
I felt like I was alone even though I was surrounded by love and care. It was just a cloud that would linger over my life every now and again. The Brain Treatment Center helped me understand what was going on in my head and after a month of treatment, I was grateful to be DEPRESSION-FREE and MEDICATION-FREE for the first time in my life.” — MeRT Patient
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