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I Tried Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Cure My Depression. Here’s What Happened.

By Jordyn Taylor | May 24, 2018

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According to the latest estimates, more than 300 million people worldwide are living with depression. Medication and talk therapy are effective treatments for most patients — but not all.

If first-line treatments don’t work, some people with depression turn to brain stimulation therapies. One such treatment is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which uses a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells — or neurons — in the regions of the brain that regulate mood. When stimulated, the neurons release neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are otherwise depleted in people with depression.

“Serotonin is supposed to flow from the neurons to the front of brain and tell us, ‘This is a happy moment!’ But for a depressed person, that doesn’t happen,” explains Dr. Kalyan Dandala of Associated Behavioral Health Care, a network of treatment centers in the Northwest that offer NeuroStar TMS Therapy. “We’re waking up that part of the brain that’s been dormant.”

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