In 2013, it was estimated that 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year, totalling 6.7 percent of the adult adults.1 Often a debilitating disorder, depression results in a persistent state of sadness or a loss of interest or pleasure, both of which interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, and physical health. According to the World Health Organization, major depression carries the heaviest burden of disability among mental and behavioral difficulties.1
Depression can also be a lethal disease. In fact, each year in the US, over 40,000 people die by suicide,2 and it is estimated that 60% suffer from depression. Depression has no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. About two-thirds of those who experience an episode of depression will have at least one other episode in their lives, and in 2013 it was estimated that 5 million people with major depressive episodes do not seek care.3
While the exact cause of depression is not known, an important emerging model is that depression is related to altered activity in neural networks of the brain that regulate mood, motivation, energy, optimism, and other important aspects of proper functioning. Traditional antidepressants work by altering chemical messengers in the brain, called neurotransmitters, which regulate neural networks by affecting communication between nerve cells. Neurotransmitter levels have been shown to be changed by TMS.4
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in NYC
Neighborhood Psychiatry has offered expertise in TMS since 2010, and our staff have considerable expertise in the treatment of depression and other mental health conditions using an array of additional approaches beyond TMS. Our treatment center is conveniently located on 39 West 14th Street, close to all the major subway lines for NYC, as well as the PATH Train to NJ, and it is a short trip from Grand Central Station, Penn Station and the Port Authority.
If you feel that transcranial magnetic stimulation may benefit you, get in touch to talk it through with one of our psychiatrists. We can help answer any questions you might have about the procedure, about insurance coverage, and about making an appointment for consultation. We are in-network with Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) Healthcare Insurance plans.
TMS and Depression
Depression is most often treated with antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by changing neurotransmitter levels, leading to changes in brain activity. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) offers an additional treatment option for people struggling with depression that has not responded well to traditional medication therapy.
People have trouble with antidepressant medication because they have not been effective in treating the symptoms of depression or because side effects and other adverse reactions to prescribed medications limit treatment. Research shows that 50 to 75% of patients stop anti-depressant medications too soon, due to lack of efficacy, side effects, or improper understanding of how to use treatment.5
Some people may find that antidepressants are partly effective but leave them with significant residual symptoms. They often have persistent side effects they could live with if forced to, but patients are often interested in exploring therapeutics which may offer fuller relief without a side effect burden.
More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. These patients need a new way back to health. In many cases transcranial magnetic stimulation can be effective as an alternative to or in conjunction with other approaches, including psychotherapy, medication management, neurofeedback, and changes in behavior and lifestyle.
The system we use at Neighborhood Psychiatry is called NeuroStar TMS Therapy. It has been FDA-cleared for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medications. The treatment is non-surgical, physically non-invasive, and non-systemic (meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body), and side effects are usually limited and mild when they occur.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2013, 2011) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer). Available from www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/ index.html.
- Pradhan et al.: The effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on dorsolateral prefrontal glutamate in youth with treatment-resistant depression. BMC Proceedings 2015 9(Suppl 1):A9.
Who can TMS help?
Many of patients undergoing TMS treatment at our facility in New York are those that obtain inadequate relief from antidepressant medications – either they are not obtaining full resolution of symptoms or they suffer from unacceptable side effects. Under these circumstances, effective and well-tolerated solutions, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, are indispensable.
At Neighborhood Psychiatric Associates of Manhattan we use the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system, developed by Neuronetics. This is the first non-systemic (drug-free) and non-invasive depression treatment cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment.
Could TMS help with your depression?
If you’d like to explore TMS as an option for treating depression, give us a call to get more information. You can also come in and speak with our staff, or set up a consultation with a psychiatrist.
Find out if TMS might be a useful treatment for you.
Research about TMS
Since the 1980s, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been used to study the nerve fibers that carry information about movements from the brain to the spinal cord and on to the muscles. In the late 1990s, physicians began to explore the therapeutic potential of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of a variety of diseases, with depression being the most thoroughly studied to date. Since then, more than 20 randomized, controlled trials studying transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for depression have been published by investigators throughout the world.
TMS Side Effects
TMS is well-tolerated by most patients. Side effects are usually mild, and may include headache, neck stiffness, and discomfort while the magnetic field is active. Discomfort may occur under the magnetic coil, and sometimes in the face, and is temporary and usually improves early in treatment. Patients may experience muscle contraction and tearing of the eye on the side of treatment, which is also temporary. A small number of patients do not continue TMS because of side effects. There are no systemic side effects, and TMS does not impair memory, cognition, appetite or sex drive.