Treatment For Chronic Headache, Migraines & Depression
Middletown Medical, PC has added non-invasive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to the practice as another therapeutic option for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression and is now accepting new patients!
Major Depressive Disorder is a significant mental health condition in the US, one that has been exacerbated by the challenges of an ongoing pandemic. Multiple treatment options are available at Middletown Medical to sufferers, including counseling and behavioral therapy as well as medications. In some cases, however, antidepressant pharmacological therapies are not effective. For those patients, TMS may be an effective option.
TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is sometimes confused with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), which is quite different. TMS is a non-invasive therapy that uses electromagnetic pulses to induce electrical activity in those parts of the brain that are underactive in depressed patients. The magnetic coils are placed against the patient’s head during a session. The treatment has been shown effective in 49% of patients who have failed at least two prior medication courses. Additionally, it demonstrated a remission rate of 32% (Rush, et.al., 2006). These statistics are markedly improved over additional medication courses.
TMS therapy has been cleared by the FDA since 2008. Side effects may include a mild, transient headache that abates over the course of the treatment. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately following a session. Insurance usually covers the treatment for those who qualify.
We are pleased to add TMS as another option for our patients with depression. This technology has the potential to bring relief to those who have not found it in other therapies.
TMS Treatment for Migraines
Migraines are one of the most excruciating types of headaches patients can experience and without treatment, pain can last up to three days.
For patients seeking relief from your migraines — without the risk of side effects caused by medications — there is a new treatment available: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS can significantly reduce the number of future migraines and diminish the pain patients experience when having a migraine attack.
Migraines begin when one of the cranial nerves overreact to a trigger. Many different things can trigger the problem, but some of the most common are caffeine, stress, lack of sleep, and weather changes. The nerve signals that subsequently flood the brain cause a wave of abnormal electrical activity. This is when migraine pain begins. At the same time, the brain releases neurotransmitters and peptides that dilate blood vessels and cause nerve inflammation. These changes only increase the severity of a migraine.
How TMS Targets Migraines
During a migraine, the brain is hyperexcitable, which causes abnormal brainwave activity. Since TMS targets one problem — abnormal brain waves — it can effectively treat migraines.
TMS uses magnetic pulses to stimulate or balance electrical activity in the brain. The magnetic pulses are generated in a device that’s placed over the patient’s head, targeting the area of unusual brainwaves. The magnetic pulses safely and painlessly travel through your skull and into a specific area of the brain. The pulses stimulate normal brainwaves, helping the brain to regain balance.
Though each person responds differently, most patients achieve long-lasting results after completing a series of TMS treatments.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved single-pulse TMS as a treatment for migraines. The FDA doesn’t approve any medical treatment without proof that it’s safe and effective. Studies show that TMS reduces the number of headache days by up to 50%, establishing TMS as a preventive therapy for migraines. TMS also helps to reduce the severity of migraines when they do occur.