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Mental Health in the News: November 18, 2022


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Mental Health in the News

Welcome to Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry’s Mental health in the News weekly update. Below are some current news events relating to mental health and mental health treatments.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): A Non-Drug Treatment for Depression

A medication-free treatment for depression is gaining popularity in North Carolina: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a noninvasive FDA-approved treatment for patients with depression that doesn’t require shock therapy.

Depression affects millions of adults in the US every year. Navy veteran Daniel Cook is one of them. But after trying 10 different medications to no avail, he finally found relief after just three weeks of TMS sessions: “My parents, my pastor, my friends, they all told me a year ago there was death in my eyes, and as of April this year, everyone sees life.”

What Is TMS?

TMS uses magnets to create electromagnetic fields to stimulate nerves in the brain. TMS sessions last about 19 minutes and require the patient to come in five days a week for six weeks. During a session, doctors place a helmet with coils over the patient’s head. Patients may feel a tapping sensation during treatment, but there is no pain or discomfort. Terry Wise, a TMS provider, describes TMS as physical therapy for the brain: “That’s why there are 36 sessions retraining your brain to think on its own again and produce the chemicals.”

Who Are Candidates for TMS?

Patients who have not experienced relief from their depression symptoms after trying traditional treatments, like psychotherapy and medication, are candidates for TMS. Mr. Wise says that he has treated patients ranging from ages 18 to 70. Many healthcare insurances provide coverage for most of the treatment costs. 

Help Is Out There

Two-thirds of people who undergo TMS treatments for depression go into remission. Mr. Cook wants people who are suffering in silence to know that help is available: “It’s okay to not be okay and that if you can recognize it or get someone to recognize it and take the steps outside of your comfort level, you can get help.”

To read the original news article, click here.

BrainsWay Receives FDA Approval for Its H7 Coil Deep TMS Machine for Depression and Anxious Depression, BrainsWay’s 9th FDA Approval Since Its Founding in 2003

BrainsWay, a leading company in non-invasive neurostimulation treatments for mental disorders, has received FDA approval for their H7 Coil Deep TMS machine for the treatment of depression and anxious depression. 

While the FDA approved the H7 coil in 2018 for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), this most recent approval now allows for clinical use to treat depression and anxious depression in patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment, like medication or psychotherapy.

Celebrating their success, Christopher von Jako said, “This clearance is a significant milestone in BrainsWay’s pursuit of refining and optimizing non-invasive options for treatment-resistant mental health conditions.”

The FDA based its approval on randomized, double-blind studies conducted by the company that demonstrated the efficacy of the H7 coil against treatment-resistant depression. BrainsWay started conducting clinical studies when they heard reports of the H7 coil having positive results in treating depression from practitioners in the field. Dr. Aron Tendler, Chief Medical Officer at BrainsWay, says, “Now we have high-quality randomized study data which validates this observation scientifically.”  

What Is Deep TMS?

Deep TMS is a non-invasive treatment used for treating depression, anxious depression, OCD, and smoking addiction. Patients wear a helmet that contains a coil and is used to create a magnetic field that electrically stimulates nerve cells in the brain. 

Traditional Deep TMS machines use the H1 coil, which targets a different area of the brain than the H7 coil, but some patients do not find relief from their symptoms with the H1 coil. The H7 coils are designed to reach deeper and wider into the brain than the H1 coils.

The approval of the H7 coil allows doctors to have another medication-free treatment option for patients who don’t see results with the H1 coil.  

To read the original news article, click here.

New TMS Training Facility Offers Hope to Patients Fighting Depression

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a new training facility is opening up with the mission of educating mental health practitioners about a medication-free treatment option for depression: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a non-invasive, FDA-approved treatment for patients with depression. TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells (called neurons) in the brain. 

According to Neuronetics President and CEO, Keith Sullivan, the hope of this new training center is to invite doctors and practitioners to come and learn about this safe and effective treatment option for major depressive disorder. He states, “Our mission here is to try and broaden awareness that there is a non-drug alternative and our focus of the company is to focus on reducing that number of patients that are thinking of suicide.”

Daniel Cooke (Depression Patient) Was Suicidal, Until TMS

Daniel Cooke was a depression patient contemplating suicide–until TMS treatments helped him. Cooke is a Navy veteran who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Cooke tried medications and other treatments, but he noticed that these treatments were not working. He ended up attempting to commit suicide five times. He says that he had lost hope when the Veterans Affairs suggested that he go to TMS Of The Carolinas, where he began receiving the treatments that changed his life.

What Are TMS Sessions Like? 

During TMS sessions, patients wear a helmet containing a coil that delivers repeated magnetic pulses and creates a magnetic field. The magnetic pulses penetrate the skull to … a specific part of the brain that regulates mood. 

Patients say the treatments are painless and feel like a strong tapping on the head. During treatment, patients must go five days a week for 36 sessions, with sessions lasting about 20 minutes. 

Cooke explains that he saw results after several weeks of treatment, “Weeks five and six I started to feel it and by week nine it was like the depression disappeared it was a like a magic trick it went away.”

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide you can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. 

To read the original news article, click here.

Dr. Woo has been seeing patients in private practice since 2002, always with the goals of combining evidence-based medicine with psychodynamic psychotherapy and collaborating with other mental health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for his patients. He has been certified to administer TMS at his practice since 2017. His greatest clinical interests include helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.


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