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Magnetic stimulation helping East Tenn. depression patients when drugs don’t work

Lori Tucker, WATE 6 On Your Side Anchor/Reporter Published: April 7, 2015, 5:00 pm | Updated: April 7, 2015, 5:30 pm

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A breakthrough treatment for depression is bringing hope to many people here in East Tennessee. It’s designed for patients who haven’t been helped by traditional anti-depressants.

Charlie Walters of Gatlinburg underwent Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS Therapy, at the office of Dr. Lane Cook in Knoxville. TMS was a last resort for Walters after she developed a serious, potentially deadly reaction to most anti-depressant medications, and felt herself slipping back into darkness.

“I was getting into talking to people again because I had gotten so deep. I wasn’t even talking to my best friend. I wasn’t talking to even my family members. I would go in my room and just hibernate,” she said.

Dr. Cook and his team use the Neurostar TMS Therapy device, which was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for use in the treatment of depression and quickly sparked their attention.

“I have people with treatment resistant depression who failed three or four anti-depressants,” Dr. Cook said. “I have people who’ve failed every anti-depressant and I was running out of things to do.”

He says TMS Therapy has a 64 percent remission rate among his patients.

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