Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), the new alternative to treat depression without meditation
Depression has become a part of everybody’s everyday life. Have you ever noticed that the number of patients for such disorder is becoming the first in Psychiatry; at present, Thai patients are as much as 10% of all population. The causes include stimulation from the current style of living in the fast-changing society and economy which leads to stress, conflict, separation, loss etc. In addition, another cause unknown to many people is gene or Bio Characteristic. With the record of family members with depression, you will likely have more chances than usual.
How do you know if you are suffering from depression? Here is a basic way to observe yourself;
- Being depressed all day
- Being unable to pull yourself back to normal status
- Being under chronic condition for more than 3 months
- Having other physical symptoms, for example, loss of Appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, agitation or loss of control over eating behaviors (want more food than usual).
Method to cure depression
If you suffer from any symptoms mentioned above, immediate visit to professional physician is suggested. When the result is truly from depression, the familiar method to cure is taking medication in order to add new neurotransmitter to defective one and bring it back to normal status. For the patients with severe conditions, Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) will be chosen to cause convulsion in brain and reset it. This way it better the condition.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), the new treatment
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is another suitable method for patients who cannot take any medication, have drug resistance or suffer from side effects of taking medication such as nausea, vomiting, headache, nightmare or depression getting worse after medication.
TMS is the release of a high level of magnetic field on to brain matter at the depth of 2 Centre meter changing the electric flow in nerve cells. Repeated actions cause the permanent change in nerve cells and better cell connection. Depression getting better or being cured completely depends on each patient; the one taking a medication with no side effects will take medication with TMS treatment, the one with severe side effects will be ordered to stop medication and concentrate on TMS alone and the one with no records of previous treatment will directly go with TMS.
Each TMS takes 30 minutes to 1 hour. 3 times is the least to take as after the 3rd treatment, the condition is getting better by 50%. Then, physician will diagnose how many more times would be necessary and for how long between each treatment. 30 times is considered in general. However, if the condition is cured beforehand, the treatment can be stopped. In case of the condition still remains partly after all treatment, the patient might be appointed to come in once a month in order to stimulate for constant condition.
Advantage-Disadvantage of TMS
It is the advantage for patient with severe condition; 70% to get better and completely cured. It is considered safe with few side effects compared to taking medication. Some patients appear to have just some headache after stimulation. When comparing to electroshock machine, it is equal in its efficiency in treatment but not in creating side effects. Electroshock machine can deteriorate the brain temporality damage short-memory while TMS has none of those effects. Some patients regain better memory. Unlike Electroshock machine which patients need to rest for at least 1 night, they can be sent home right after the treatment.
From the research, there is a chance for epilepsy to happen to only 1 patient out of 10,000. TMSis acceptable in America and Europe. In Thailand, this medical technology has been a part of the research for 2-3 years and brought to some clinics such as Neuro Clinic under the care of Dr. Aitthigorn Laohataiwakin, the interviewee of this article.
For patients who do not wish to take medication or whose unsuccessful previous treatment with medication and the use of an electroshock machine cause severe side effects, TMS might be one interesting alternative as it is safe and has no side effects. Besides treating depression, TMS can cure other diseases related to nerve system such as Migraines, Dementia, Stroke, ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and drug addiction.
Neuro Clinic, Dr. Aitthigorn
88/124 Thetsaban Songkhro Road,
Lad Yao sub-district, Chatuchak District Bangkok 10900
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