Nashville TMS- Offering effective new treatment for depression
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) therapy is an FDA-cleared depression treatment for patients who have not benefited from initial antidepressant medication.
TMS is a new therapy that involves no drugs and has been proven safe and effective for treating patients with depression, TMS is free of negative side effects often associated with taking antidepressants.
Nashville TMS is part of the psychiatric practice of W. Scott West, MD, who was the first psychiatrist to bring Neurostar TMS Therapy to Tennessee in 2010.
We encourage you to explore this site and learn more about new hope for depression and how TMS offers help for depression.
“Seven months ago I was so depressed I wasn’t able to function. After six weeks of NeuroStar TMS Therapy, I was back to work; feeling great; I was enjoying my kids again and I had my life back.”
-Craig, 38 years old
- posted in Blog
Depression Treatment - Remains Ineffective and Rates are Low
More than 20 million people in the United States deal with depression every day, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports. While it may not surprise you, depression most likely affects someone you know and love. Severe depression, often clinically diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is pervasive in the U.S.
Symptoms that include low energy, sleeplessness, and feelings of low self-worth were reported to interfere with healthy functions of daily living. The depressive, low self-worth thoughts even go so far as to produce ‘suicide ideation’ – thoughts of ending one’s own life. These thoughts can persist as a debilitating daily struggle.
Mental health professionals consider major depression to be a disorder of the brain - due to environmental, genetic, psychological and biochemical causes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, treatment for major depression remains ineffective and treatment rates remain low.
The Majority of Depressed Americans Don’t Seek Help
A report on depression statistics released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that only a little over a third of Americans with severe depression had any contact with a mental health professional in the past year. The report collected data from 2009 to 2012, and from study participants with depressive symptoms that lasted more than two weeks.
The report by the CDC shines the light on the troubling statistic that almost 90% of Americans with severe depression have difficulties with activities of daily living, including social interaction, work responsibilities, and home life, such as household meal preparation and care of dependents. But the vast majority of them still do not seek medical mental health treatment. No reasons for this non-attention were researched in the scope of the study.
Depression Rates Vary by Age, Gender, Race and Poverty Level
The study mentions that depression is clearly associated with higher rates of other chronic health conditions, with heart disease among the leaders. The incidence of depression also varies by age, gender, race and poverty level. Severe depression is reported to be highest in women - in all age groups - also increasing with age. In fact, the results show that rates of depression in women exceed that of men in every age category.
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Additional key points about depression rates in the U.S. - by age and by gender:
- Over 7 percent of Americans age 12 and over experienced moderate or severe depression during the two weeks prior to the survey.
- Depression rates in women increase by age.
- Adults aged 60 and over had a lower depression rate than any other age category.
- Males aged 12 to 17 had the lowest rates of depression of any age category.
The study findings regarding race variations for depression include:
- Slightly less than 3 percent of Americans aged 12 and older reported severe depressive symptoms, while almost 78 percent reported no symptoms of depression.
- Non-Hispanic blacks reported a higher rate of severe depressive symptoms than Non-Hispanic whites.
- Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics had higher rates of mild and moderate depressive symptoms than Non-Hispanic whites.
- Non-Hispanic whites were more likely to have no depressive symptoms than either Non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics.
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Depression rates by poverty level:
The report revealed statistics related to rates of depression, above and below the U.S. poverty level, as set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (based on family income, and family size; wherein family of three = $20,090):
- Individuals surveyed who lived below the federal poverty level were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have moderate to severe depressive symptoms than those at or above the poverty level.
- More than 15 percent of all people surveyed who live below the U.S. poverty level had depressive symptoms, compared to 6.2 percent of those surveyed who live above the poverty level.
- Once poverty is taken into account, rates of depression did not differ significantly by race.
Depression rates among Americans are reported to vary significantly based on Age, Gender, Race, and Poverty Level, with women outpacing men in every age group. Individuals below the federal poverty level reported more depression than those above the poverty level in every category.
While Americans experience significantly high rates of major depression, the overwhelming majority do not seek treatment from mental health professionals for their depressive symptoms. It is reported that when they do, treatment is inadequate.
About Scott West, MD:
In addition to his role as medical director of Nashville TMS, Dr. West’s outpatient practice treats adults dealing with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, cognitive or attention problems, stress, relationship struggles and personality/interpersonal issues. He is also Medical Director of the Neurobehavioral Unit at St. Thomas Hospital where his focus is on treating patients with problems associated with dementia or psychiatric problems with medical co-morbidities. Dr. West serves on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt where he supervises residents.
About Nashville TMS:
In April of 2010, Dr. West brought the technology of NeuroStar TMS to Nashville, becoming the first physician in Tennessee to offer the option of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for patients whose depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. Nashville TMS has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.
Written by: Lisa M. Chapman
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- posted in Blog
Nashville, Tenn. – September 18, 2014 -- Seven Nashville depression patients were participants in national study published this week in the Journal of clinical Psychiatry that found long term benefits from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in adults with treatment resistant depression.
The patients received their TMS treatment from Scott West, MD at Nashville TMS. It was the largest clinical study evaluating the durability of this FDA approved treatment and found that depressed patients treated with TMS maintained remission through the yearlong study.
The treatments were all conducted using the NeuroStar TMS Therapy® system which was FDA-cleared in 2008. West brought the technology to Nashville in 2010 when he opened Nashville TMS. In addition to Nashville TMS, 41 other practices throughout the country studied a total of 307 patients.
The objectives of the study were to assess the change in depression symptoms and the patients’ functional capacity during the six-weeks of TMS treatment and long term over the course of fifty two weeks. After the six-week treatment¸ 62 percent of patients showed improvement, while 41 percent showed complete remission. At the end of the year, 68 percent achieved improvement and 45 percent reported complete remission.
“TMS offers hope and healing for otherwise treatment resistant depression,” West said. “It is an effective alternative beyond the therapy and medication they have already tried and found ineffective, without the side effects commonly experienced with drugs.”
The complete study results are available at: http://www.psychiatrist.com/JCP/article/Pages/2014/aheadofprint/13m08977.aspx
What is TMS?
• TMS treatment sessions take less than an hour, five days a week, for four to six weeks.
• They are conducted in the doctor’s office.
• Patients are awake and alert during treatment and able to resume normal activities upon leaving the treatment sessions.
• TMS therapy is precisely targeted at a key area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, thought to control mood, and found to be underactive in depression sufferers.
• It uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in this area, causing them to become active and release neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers.
• This affects the remaining areas of the brain involved in mood, serving to restore normal function and lift the symptoms of depression.
• TMS therapy is free of the side effects typically experienced with antidepressant medications.
• The most common side effect associated with treatment is discomfort at or near the treatment area – generally mild to moderate.
About Scott West, MD,
In addition to his role as medical director of Nashville TMS, West has an outpatient practice treating adults dealing with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, cognitive or attention problems, stress, relationship struggles and personality/interpersonal issues. He is also Medical Director of the Neurobehavioral Unit at St. Thomas Hospital where his focus is on treating patients with problems associated with dementia or psychiatric problems with medical co-morbidities. He serves on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt where he supervises residents
West has been practicing psychiatry in Nashville since 1986 when he finished his residency in psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received his medical degree from The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Memphis. He is a Diplomate of The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialty of Psychiatry and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
About Nashville TMS
In April of 2010, West brought the technology of NeuroStar TMS to Nashville, becoming the first physician in Tennessee to offer the option of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for patients whose depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. It uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in this area, causing them to become active and release neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers. Affecting the remaining areas of the brain involved in mood and restoring normal function and lift the symptoms of depression.
Nashville TMS has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.
Written by: Aileen Katcher
- posted in Blog
I want to share news from the second annual meeting of The Clinical TMS Society held in conjunction with the American Psychiatric Association in New York City.
We saw presentations from around the world with news of exciting experiences in Japan and Chile where many people are being treated ‘on label’ for depression as well as ‘off label’ for a wide variety of disorders - with great success. We heard about more evidence of the superior and lasting effects of TMS. And the ‘52 week durability study after acute treatment’ that Nashville TMS participated in is due to be published soon.
Off-Label Treatment with TMS
The future looks enormously bright for TMS as we continue to treat depression – and on the horizon - treating other debilitating conditions that include:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
- bipolar disorder,
- negative symptoms of schizophrenia,
- addictions, and
- neurological conditions - such as stroke rehabilitation, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and tinnitus
These are currently being treated off label and ongoing research toward U.S. FDA approval is quite promising.
Greater Efficacy with TMS
There was a session that focused on deciding on clinical standards regarding how to best use TMS. While there is currently not agreement on all aspects of treatment, we are working hard to develop more effective treatment protocols in an ongoing fashion with the clear expectation of greater efficacy.
Insurance Coverage for TMS
We discussed the dilemma we have with insurance company limitations and we explored ways to address this obstacle to treatment. I will be the regional insurance representative for the organization and look forward to productive interaction with the insurance companies - with the outcome of making transcranial magnetic stimulation appropriately and effectively available for patients – and finally eliminate their suffering.
Leading the Field – Into the Future
We had the great pleasure of listening to Dr. Tarique Paerera, President of the organization, Drs. Mark George, Harold Sackeim and Alvero Pascual-Leone, early researchers of the technology, speak about the history, early successes and concerns, current research and future possibilities. The overall tenor of the meeting was exceptionally positive from these luminaries as well as those of us involved with TMS patients on a day to day basis.
I will be writing about more of the ideas that came out of the meeting in detail in later posts, but today I just wanted to review the meeting and bring awareness to the opportunities we have as TMS is coming of age.
Follow us for more news about TMS advances and benefits!
About Dr. Scott West and Nashville TMS:
Dr. Scott West has dedicated his professional career to helping people overcome the suffering of clinical depression. Dr. West is the Medical Director of Nashville TMS, where he and his team relieve the suffering of patients who have previously been resistant to drug therapy for depression. Watch a short video about actual patients whose lives have been changed: “I look forward to things now. I have a future again.” Dr. West has been practicing psychiatry in Nashville Tennessee since 1986 when he finished his residency in psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Read more about Dr. Scott West.