According to information from a new study, most patients being treated with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for their treatment-resistant depression saw a complete remission of their symptoms. Data for the study were collected from the first “real-world” treatment audit and were presented at The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ International Congress 2013 in Edinburgh.
The study found that 60 percent of the patients experienced the complete remission of their depression symptoms, which is in line with the earlier reports in American and Canadian treatment centers. Results from the “real-world” audit, which treated UK patients with rTMS at the London Psychiatry Centre, found that out of 10 patients, six of them saw a complete remission of anxiety and depression by the time the treatment ended.
“These data reinforce the body of existing worldwide evidence for rTMS and its proven ability to treat depressed patients who have not responded to drug treatment and/or therapy,” Dr. Rafael Euba, Consultant Psychiatrist at the Centre, said.
rTMS is a virtually painless and non-invasive way to stimulate the brain using an electromagnetic induction procedure with an insulated coil that is put on the scalp. The rTMS treatment is licensed in the UK for treating adults with depression. The FDA approved rTMS for use as a depression treatment when drugs like Paxil or Effexor aren’t working. There are no side effects with this type of treatment — something that drug manufacturers certainly can’t say.
As for patient responses, one patient who had the rTMS treatment for a week says, “The treatment shifted the way I approach problems and almost blocks my negative way of thinking. I feel like the person I used to be 30 years ago! I’ve got my brain back!”
Depression is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is often treated with antidepressant drugs like Paxil or Effexor. Paxil and Effexor have been known to cause patients to suffer from violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior as well as lead to birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the pills while pregnant. The birth defects linked to Paxil and Effexor use include PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects. Should the rTMS treatment prove to work, they may completely replace drugs all together. That would be a groundbreaking development to sufferers all over the world.