Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Unfortunately, treatments for depression do not always work.
Now, a particular type of therapy aimed at treatment-resistant depression is seeking to make a difference.
This is what 80-year old John Herbert does to treat his depression. After 33 years as an airplane pilot. a plane crash turned John’s world upside down.
“I lost 54 friends in an aviation accident. Basically, flew right over that night when I was on my way to Lisbon and the memory just burned in my brain,” Herbert said.
Herbert has been on antidepressants for almost 20 years since the crash but they weren’t working as well as he hoped.
“Patients who have been through a combination of antidepressants have failed to the treatment response. TMS comes in,” said Jay Bolaram, MD, board-certified psychiatrist.
TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. The therapy is a magnetic impulse, which delivers guided stimulation to the brain to treat depression. Traditional TMS treatment sessions average 37 minutes. But, a recent FDA-cleared device delivers rapid TMS treatment in only three minutes for four to six weeks.
“In this aspect, they found the same effectiveness of the 35 minutes to a two to three-minute treatment,” Dr. Bolaram said.
Clinical trials have shown 50% of patients with treatment-resistant depression reached 50% reduction in symptoms and a third of patients achieved complete remission.
Before doing the rapid TMS treatments, John had a hard time getting out to do the things he loves.
“I was at the point where I’d try anything,” Herbert said.
After the rapid TMS treatment, he’s out of the house and back into the swing of things.
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