Breakthrough in Depression Treatment
A four-year clinical trial of revealed that 20% of veterans fail to respond to traditional treatments for depression. Since Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was cleared by the FDA in 2008, about 30 VA veteran centers throughout the country have been using TMS machines to treat patients suffering from various mental health problems and finding success where pharmaceuticals have not. TMS ‘helmets’ fire electromagnetic pulses into a patient’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, stimulating and activating nerve cells in the cerebral cortex that regulate mood and motivation. The treatments are non-invasive, and the short-term side effects are minimal.