Depression is a common and serious illness that negatively influences an individual’s daily lifestyles such as the way they act, how they feel, and even the way they think. Depression affects an estimated 1 in 15 adults or 6.7% in any given year. In addition, 1 and 6 people or 16.6% will experience depression once in their life. This illness creates symptoms such as a feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities the individual once enjoyed. These emotional and physical problems can decrease the person's ability to go about their day. Other symptoms of depression include having a depressed mood, changes in appetite, loss of energy and increased fatigue, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Fortunately, depression is curable, and the current treatments include psychotherapy and medications. However, only about half of those suffering from depression benefit from these therapies. This leads to symptoms not improving leading to treatment resistant depression. In addition, antidepressants have tons of side effects that many of these patients cannot tolerate.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an FDA approved, noninvasive, and effective procedure used to treat patients with depression. This procedure involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain which targets the localized area most associated with Depression (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). This outpatient treatment does not affect daily activities as other procedures for depression do and is very well tolerated regardless of age and severity. The only side effects of this treatment include slight headache and in very rare cases, seizures. With the use of the repetitive magnetic stimulation, communication between different parts of the brain can be improved which can ease symptoms of depression and help improve an individual's mood.