When suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), people begin to feel lonely and isolated. Antidepressants, also known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), are typically the first method of treatment. However, these may not always work for everyone. Some people have severe depression that is resistant to an array of these medications. An FDA approved alternative solution with high success rates is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
What is TMS? An Alternative to Antidepressants:
TMS is a procedure that allows a practitioner to stimulate underactive areas of a patient’s brain using magnetic pulses so that they can function at full capacity. In a sense, TMS helps to “awaken” these sleeping brain cells using a device that transmits pulses through a specially designed magnetic coil. At least 70% – 80% of patients have described some relief from TMS according to sources like tmsbrainhealth.com. Neurostar and CloudTMS are two leading devices on the market that have brought patients a safe alternative that may help to alleviate the symptoms of MDD. TMS sessions are carried out five times a week over the course of four to six weeks. Studies have shown that TMS therapy is:
- Virtually pain-free
- Typically covered by insurance
- Little to no side effects
What is Neurostar?
First approved by the FDA in 2008, Neurostar is widely known as being the first TMS device to be used in a clinical setting. Neurostar has an extensive track record of helping to treat patients with treatment-resistant depression. Using a figure-of-eight style magnetic coil, the Neurostar device is calibrated to target portions of the brain that are related to severe depression. This includes areas like the prefrontal cortex. Each magnetic pulse emitted from the coil is similar in strength to an MRI machine. With the Neurostar, practitioners can use a laser positioning system and contact sensing system to ensure that the treatment is delivered properly. During the treatment process, which takes 3-37 minutes, patients are awake and comfortable, in a reclined sitting position. After the treatment is completed, patients can return to their normal life routines. These qualities are a big part of why Neurostar paved the way for so many other TMS device companies in the industry.
What is CloudTMS?
CloudTMS is another TMS device that was first manufactured in 1996 and is currently used in more than 25 different countries. The CloudTMS and Neurostar have many similarities. CloudTMS allows for an accurate, safe, and non-invasive treatment for MDD. CloudTMS transmits magnetic pulses to the patient’s brain using a liquid-cooled figure-of-eight style coil and is calibrated to accurately treat areas of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex. Featuring laptop compatibility, CloudTMS allows you to be treated in 3-19 minutes sessions from nearly anywhere in a comfortable, laid back environment. After your treatment, you can immediately resume your usual daily activities. Because of its portability, the CloudTMS is a conveniently modern choice to help treat patients with MDD.
There are now seven devices officially approved for TMS therapy by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA): Neurostar, CloudTMS, BrainsWay, MagVenture, Apollo, NexStim, and MagStim. While these machines differ in various ways, they are all proven to be effective in bringing hope and relief to those who need it most. In the coming years, more companies hope to create their own machines to provide patients more options to treat their MDD.