VA researchers studied the effectiveness of transcranial magentic stimulation (TMS) in 770 U.S. Military Veterans who had been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. Of this cohort, there were 68% of individuals who also had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Progress of the treatment was measured through a standard 9-item patient health questionaire and results indicated that 41% of participants saw depression symptom improvements with a remission rate of 20% through statistical analysis.
Individuals experiencing major depresive disorder rely on medications and psychotherapy as a form of treatment. However, approximatelhy one third of these individuals do not respond well leaving them with a limited number of treatment options. These other treatment options include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and emerging novel agents such as ketamine and psilocybin however there are risks that are linked to these treatments which include anesthesia use, short term memory loss, concern about abuse potential, and unknown long term effectiveness.
Foretunately, TMS is an evidence based treatment for treatment resistant depression and has been approved by the US FDA since 2008. This treatment comes without any concerning side effects as with other treatments and has emerging data that supports other psychiatric disorders including OCD, smoking cessation, PTSD, and Schizophrenia. The potential benefits could also lead to improved large-scale insight into clinical biomarkers of treatment response.
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