New treatment helps patients with depression - WSMV News 4

New treatment helps patients with depression

Posted: Updated: Nov 26, 2015 04:05 PM

Research shows 6 percent of the general population struggles with clinical depression.

Anti-depressants and psychotherapy are popular treatments, but more middle Tennesseans are turning to something different and claiming life-changing results.

The treatment is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), which uses MRI magnets to wake up parts of the brain.

The treatment is often used by the military for PTSD patients.

This week, another major insurance provider has approved the treatment for patients battling depression.

“It’s kind of like a light tap,” said Steve Jolly, a patient undergoing TMS treatment. “Not painful at all, not really even uncomfortable.”

It means the brain is lighting up.

“For me, the depression was a loss of interest in everything,” Jolly said. “It got hard to even get out of bed in the morning.”

Research shows the magnetic stimulation is lifting clinical depression in patients who had given up hope.

“Going from nothing, no interest in anything, to having life again,” Jolly said. “It’s been incredible.”

Dr. Scott West has treated more than 200 patients so far in his Green Hills office, most of whom had tried multiple medications with no success.

“It works,” West said.

Schatzie Brunner said she is living proof of that.

“I’ve been medicated for depression for 40 years,” Brunner said.

The former CNN anchor turned presentation skills coach tried TMS last year.

“Because it is a gentle process where you building up a tolerance of the treatments and you go about your day,” Brunner said. “There is no downtime.”

Brunner said the series of treatments have changed her life.

“When you’re depressed, there’s no hope,” she said. “So to have this tool that’s non-invasive, that’s non-systemic, that makes you like you’re really well. I can’t say enough about it.”

TMS starts at $350 per treatment without insurance. Most patients need 30 treatments, five days a week, followed by five maintenance sessions.

More insurance companies are covering TMS for patients that meet certain FDA criteria.

For more information, click here.

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