Treating Depression With Magnets


CAN’T TAKE THE SIDE EFFECTS. CBS 2’S DR. MAX GOMEZ SAYS MAGNETS MIGHT OFFER RELIEF BY REWIRING YOUR BRAIN. Reporter: EACH YEAR AMERICANS SPEND BILLIONS ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS. BUT STUDIES SHOW THEY CAN BE INEFFECTIVE IN UP TO 40% OF ALL PATIENTS. BOB HOLMES WAS ONE OF THEM. THEY TRIED TO ADJUST MY MEDICATION. BUT THE MEDICATION HAD SIDE EFFECTS THAT WERE UNDESIRABLE. Reporter: HE IS AMONG THE 16 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U.S. WHO HAVE MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODES EACH YEAR. A NUMBER THAT’S INCREASED 18% OVER THE LAST DECADE. THAT’S WHY SOME DOCTORS AT UCLA HEALTH ARE TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH. HERE DOCTORS ARE BEAMING MAGNETIC PULSES DEEP INSIDE PATIENTS’ BRAINS TO CHANGE THE WAY DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS ARE PERCEIVED. WE ARE USED TO THINKING OF THE BRAIN AS A CHEMICAL ORGAN. BUT IT’S ALSO AN ELECTRICAL ORGAN. THE IDEA THAT BY USING NONCHEMICAL MEANS WE CAN CHANGE THE BRAIN AND HOW IT FUNCTIONS. Reporter: IT’S CALLED TRANSCRANIAN MAGNETIC STIMULATION OR TMS, TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION, CURRENTLY FDA- APPROVED FOR DEPRESSION BUT MAY HELP IN A WIDE RANGE OF CONDITIONS BY REWIRING A NETWORK OF SIGNALS IN THE BRAIN. WHAT TMS IS DOING IS CHANGING HOW THAT NETWORK FUNCTIONS REALLY REBOOTING THE NETWORK TO IMPROVE SYMPTOMS OF MOOD, ANXIETY AND CHRONIC PAIN. Reporter: WHICH MAY BE WHY MANY PATIENTS TREATED FOR DEPRESSION SAY IT RELIEVES PAIN RACING PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER TMS COULD BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO OPIOIDS. THIS IS A TRANSFORMATIVE KIND OF THERAPY BUT IN MEDICINE THERE’S ALWAYS THE WISH TO DO BETTER TO HELP MORE PEOPLE THAN NOW. Reporter: BUT FOR NOW IT’S MADE A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE IN BOB’S DEPRESSION. IT PROVIDED THAT KIND OF JOLT TO GET MY BRAIN TO START TO WORK AGAIN NORMALLY. Reporter: REPORTEDLY, TMS CAN FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE AT FIRST BUT MANY PATIENTS SAY THEY QUICKLY GET USED TO IT.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *