TMS – Effective New Treatment for Depression

“Seven months ago I was so depressed I wasn’t able to function. After six weeks of Nashville TMS Therapy, I was back to work feeling great! I was enjoying my kids again and I got my life back.” – Craig, 38 years young

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a new therapy that involves no drugs and is proven safe and effective – for treatment-resistant depression! TMS is free of the negative side effects often associated with taking antidepressants.

Nashville TMS BLOG

Depression Drug Now Labelled ‘Inadequate’ by Researchers

One More Failure for Many Patients with Treatment Resistant Depression


Metryapone Antidepressant Deemed Ineffective

How many people do you know have tried one or more treatments for depression? It’s quite a common occurrence, unfortunately. Researchers all over the globe are in a race for solutions.

Depression affects a significant proportion of the population, with 1-year and lifetime prevalence of: 3-5% and 10-30%, respectively. Full remission is achieved in only a third of patients following treatment with first-line antidepressant.

Drug research – new options for depression?


Researching drugs that treat the debilitating symptoms of major depression is a continuing process, in which drug companies believe that trials will produce an option more effective than is currently available. Much research focuses on finding effective drugs for people who suffer from depression, but haven’t found an option that works. These new drugs often inhibit certain functions of the brain and/or the body.

The drug Metryapone, however, appears to be just one more failure for many patients with treatment resistant depression. But research has gone on for decades and will continue, as long as treatment resistance is a widespread problem and enormous sums of money can be made by pharmaceutical companies.

What is Metyrapone and how does it work?


Metyrapone has been prescribed by doctors and used by depression sufferers who have not had a positive response to at least two conventional antidepressant drugs. Metyrapone works by blocking the production of the hormone cortisol. This hormone is naturally produced in the body and high levels have been linked to depression. In fact many depression sufferers have a high level of cortisol, which has been labelled as the stress hormone. Thus, Metyrapone is given to patients with the belief that it will combat the effects of depression by inhibiting the production of cortisol.

Study - The effects of Metyrapone


The University of Newcastle in England studied patients with depression who were being treated by medical professionals. The patients were part of trials that involved the use of Metyrapone or a placebo. These studies concluded that Metyrapone proved inadequate for the treatment of depression. The drug clearly doesn’t have the desired effects on depressed patients that the University researchers were looking for.  The head of the study stated that the use of the drug to treat a wide population of patients for depression was inadequate. As for individual cases with particularly high levels of cortisol, he said that a clinical trial would ultimately be the way to find out if Metyrapone could actually help.

Depression - A complex condition


The problem of depression is pervasive. Depression affects one in ten people at some stage of their life, so a proliferation of drugs is definitely not the ideal solution. As trials and studies continue, inadequate solutions should be ruled out and new alternatives researched.

The University of Newcastle study supports the belief that depression is much more than a simple chemical process that produces more of a certain hormone. Cortisol is present in higher levels with those that suffer from depression but that doesn’t automatically mean that reducing the production of cortisol will solve the problem itself. Depression is too pervasive a problem to be limited to treatment with single drugs, especially when the drug is pronounced ‘inadequate’.

Many patients wait for a new drug treatment, but don’t realize that a non-drug treatment has proven to be effective.

TMS Therapy for treatment resistant depression


TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a new therapy that involves no drugs and is proven safe and effective – for treatment-resistant depression! TMS is free of the negative side effects often associated with taking antidepressants.

TMS technology is similar to that of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). TMS Therapy uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate the Prefrontal Cortex – to restore it to normal function and lift your depression.

  • NeuroStar TMS Therapy has been proven safe and effective in the treatment of depression, as documented in clinical studies as well as a long history of patient experiences.

  • Because it does not use depressing drugs, TMS Therapy is free of side effects typically experienced with antidepressant medications.


After a thorough evaluation and intake process, TMS Therapy is prescribed by a psychiatrist and delivered in an outpatient setting.

About Nashville TMS:
In April of 2010, Dr. Scott 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 severe Major Depressive Disorder has not responded to multiple courses of antidepressant medications and/or other depression treatments. Dr. West and the Nashville TMS Team has successfully treated over 500 patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Missouri, New York, Florida, and Alabama. Hear what Nashville TMS patients have to say about their depression treatment experiences and outcomes!

Written by: Lisa Chapman

 

What To Do When Your Antidepressant Stops Working

There IS Hope for Treatment-Resistant Depression


TMS When Your Antidepressant Stops Working

For those courageous individuals who deal with major depression and/or chronic depression, one looming question hangs in the air like a thick, heavy cloud on a muggy summer day in New Orleans; “Can antidepressants really work - on their own?” Companies that make booster medications for antidepressants would certainly have us believe that they often don’t work on their own. Are they right?


Depression Symptoms Persist for 61% – Even On Antidepressants


Antidepressants are being prescribed more and more by doctors and physicians to combat the Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) that their patents might be suffering. But a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll shows that although 90% of those who took medication as prescribed at all times, 61% of these respondents said that they still experienced symptoms of MDD symptoms once per week or more. This is quite worrisome, and supports the idea that not all antidepressants work effectively, taken in isolation. The fact is that adults with MDD call in sick to work more, with their condition affecting both their personal and social life.

Is There Something Else That Will Help?


Of course the goal of an antidepressant is to counter the effects of MDD. If the antidepressant alone is not effective, then the patient may well look for another treatment to augment any positive effects of the antidepressant. Depression needs constant, daily treatment, and the facts above suggest that the use of drugs alone may not be the perfect solution - certainly not for every patient. Many patients also report quite unpleasant side effects from taking the antidepressant.

Published Study

According to a study published by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. government, the rate of treatment response following first-line treatment with SSRIs is moderate, varying from 40 to 60 percent; remission rates vary from 30 to 45 percent. Up to one-third of persons taking antidepressant medications will develop recurrent symptoms of depression while on therapy. The target goal for acute treatment should be remission, which is defined as a resolution of depressive symptoms (a score within the normal range of the symptom scale).

Response to treatment (usually defined as at least a 50 percent reduction in symptom levels) may not be sufficient as a target outcome because residual depressive symptoms are risk factors for relapse and negative predictors of long-term outcome. The study suggests an option to switch to a new antidepressant and simultaneously combine that antidepressant with a second pharmacological or nonpharmacological treatment. This is sometimes referred to as an acceleration strategy.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is making major inroads in helping people with Treatment Resistant Depression. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a drug-free and non-invasive technique that can augment traditional antidepressants in the fight against these MDD for treatment resistant depression. TMS uses technology not unlike an MRI scan. It does not use drugs, so TMS Therapy is free from any of side effects traditionally associated with taking antidepressants. This means that TMS combats depression with no worries about side effects which you may have experienced in the past. TMS therapy is conducted solely on an outpatient basis, so after treatment you are alert and can walk out of the session to carry on with your life.

How Does TMS Work?

TMS Therapy is a regular short-term method of combating MMD’s or depression. A treatment takes around 37 minutes and is conducted in the Nashville TMS clinic. You will get a TMS treatment five days a week, for about four to six weeks, although the exact duration depends on your individual response to the treatment.

Is It Safe?

TMS Therapy is currently delivered to patients across the US and Canada, as well as internationally. Patient response is overwhelmingly positive. You are awake during the treatment and are able to resume your normal daily life. Clinical studies and feedback from patients shows a high degree of safety, clinical excellence and life-changing results.

About Nashville TMS:
In April of 2010, Dr. Scott 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 severe Major Depressive Disorder has not responded to multiple courses of antidepressant medications and/or other depression treatments. Dr. West and the Nashville TMS Team has successfully treated over 500 patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Missouri, New York, Florida, and Alabama. Hear what Nashville TMS patients have to say about their depression treatment experiences and outcomes!

 

Written by: Lisa Chapman

Mental Illness Breakthroughs

Famous People in History


We offer an anecdotal view of select people in history, spotlighting an interesting progression that gives rise to the modern day practice of psychiatry.

Author’s note: While we normally use the terms ‘mental illness’ and ‘treatment center’, you will see the words ‘lunatic’, ‘madness’ and ‘asylum’ in the following post because those terms were actually used at the time.


Background


In England at the beginning of the nineteenth century there were, perhaps, a few thousand patients housed in a variety of disparate institutions - but by the beginning of the twentieth century that figure had grown to about 100,000. That this growth should coincide with the growth of alienism, now known as psychiatry, as a medical specialism is not coincidental.


The First Humane Treatment of Patients Dr. Philippe Pinel 1792


Dr. Philippe Pinel at the Salpêtrière, 1795 by Tony Robert-Fleury.  Pinel ordering the removal of chains from patients at the Paris Asylum for insane women.

Dr. Philippe Pinel at the Salpêtrière, 1795 by Tony Robert-Fleury.

Pinel ordering the removal of chains from patients at the Paris Asylum for insane women.

In 1792 Pinel became the chief physician at the Bicêtre Hospital. Before his arrival, inmates were chained in cramped cell-like rooms where there was poor ventilation, led by a man named Jackson 'Brutis' Taylor. Jackson was then killed by the inmates leading to Pinel's leadership.

In 1797, Pussin first freed patients of their chains and banned physical punishment, although straitjackets could be used instead. Patients were allowed to move freely about the hospital grounds, and eventually dark dungeons were replaced with sunny, well-ventilated rooms. He argued that mental illness was the result of excessive exposure to social and psychological stresses of heredity and physiological damage.


Finally - Reform of the Asylum Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury 1845


Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury by John Collier

Image Credit: "Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury by John Collier" by John Collier (died 1934) - National Portrait Gallery: NPG

Lord Shaftesbury, a vigorous campaigner for the reform of lunacy law in England, and the Head of the Lunacy Commission for 40 years

The Lunacy Act 1845 was an important landmark in the treatment of the mentally ill, as it explicitly changed the status of mentally ill people to patients who required treatment. The Act created the Lunacy Commission, headed by Lord Shaftesbury, to focus on lunacy legislation reform.

The Commission was made up of eleven Metropolitan Commissioners who were required to carry out the provisions of the Act.

All asylums were required to have written regulations and to have a resident qualified physician.  A national body for asylum superintendents  –  the Medico-Psychological Association  -  was established in 1866 under the Presidency of William A. F. Browne, although the body appeared in an earlier form in 1841.


Psychosurgery


Egas Moniz pioneered the field of psychosurgery with the lobotomy of a patient's frontal lobes in 1935.

António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz

Photograph: "Moniz" by Unknown - nobelprize.org. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz, known as Egas Moniz, was a Portuguese neurologist and the developer of cerebral angiography.

He is regarded as one of the founders of modern psychosurgery, having developed the surgical procedure leucotomy—​known better today as lobotomy—​for which he became the first Portuguese national to receive a Nobel Prize in 1949 (shared with Walter Rudolf Hess).

He held academic positions, wrote many medical articles and also served in several legislative and diplomatic posts in the Portuguese government. In 1911 he became professor of neurology in Lisbon (until his retirement in 1944.)

At the same time, he pursued a demanding political career. In 1920, he gave up politics and returned to medicine and writing full-time. In 1927 Moniz developed cerebral angiography, a technique allowing blood vessels in and around the brain to be visualized; in various forms it remains a fundamental tool both in diagnosis and in the planning of surgeries on the brain.

For this, he was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize.

In 1949, Moniz was shot by a patient suffering from schizophrenia, and subsequently used a wheelchair. He continued in private practice until 1955, when he died just as his leucotomy procedure was falling into disrepute.


Monuments – Famous People Who Have Fought for Mental Illness



(video clip :30)

You are not alone in your fight. Famous people have fought and won the fight against mental illness.

The Monuments in this video clip:

  • Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States of America

  • Winston Churchill - Prime Minister of Great Britain during WWII

  • Ghandi - the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. And is considered the father of the Indian independence movement


President Abraham Lincoln


President Abraham LincolnLincoln was contemporaneously described as suffering from "melancholy," a condition which modern mental health professionals would characterize as clinical depression.

It was during his time as an Illinois legislator that Joshua Speed said Lincoln anonymously published a suicide poem in the Sangamo Journal; though he was not sure of the date, a suicide poem was published on August 25, 1838, making Lincoln 29 years of age. The poem is called The Suicide's Soliloquy; historians are still divided on whether or not Lincoln was the author.

Lincoln would often combat his melancholic moods by delving into works of humor, likely a healthy coping mechanism for his depression. It has been proposed that Lincoln took "blue mass" pills to improve his mood. There is, however, no support for this in the written record.

For more inspiration and education about Abraham Lincoln’s battle with depression, read the book "Lincoln's Melancholy" by Joshua Wolf Shenk.

About Nashville TMS:
In April of 2010, Dr. Scott 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 severe Major Depressive Disorder has not responded to multiple courses of antidepressant medications and/or other depression treatments. Dr. West and the Nashville TMS Team has successfully treated over 500 patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Missouri, New York, Florida, and Alabama. Hear what Nashville TMS patients have to say about their depression treatment experiences and outcomes! 

Curated by: Lisa Chapman



‘Normal’ Depression vs ‘Clinical’ Depression. What’s the difference? Download the complimentary guide.

Patients Talk About TMS

What is Depression?


Video 4:28

About Scott West, MD

Dr. Scott West has dedicated his professional career to helping people overcome clinical depression. He has practiced psychiatry in Nashville Tennessee since 1986, when he finished his residency in psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Prior to that, 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.

More about Scott West, MD