The procedure lasts 40 minutes and patients are treated daily for 4-6 weeks. Patients remain awake and alert, there is no anesthesia or sedation, and they can return to normal activities immediately after treatment.
It works by using a high intensity magnet placed on your forehead to stimulate chemical change in the part of brain responsible for depression.
The NeuroStar TMS therapy system was approved by the FDA in October of 2008. One doctor who offers the treatment is psychiatrist Dr. Martha Koo, Medical Director of the South Bay TMS Therapy Center in Hermosa Beach. Dr. Koo says it's safe and has few, if any side effects.
Dr. Koo says it's wonderful seeing patients who have been depressed for years feel so much better, some even going into remission. Dr. Koo has treated 19 patients so far with only two non-responders. She says the results are amazing and since almost half of all depressed patients don't respond to anti-depressants, this is a medical breakthrough.
Kyle says he's feeling better than he's felt in years. He says it's nice to get up in the morning, look in the mirror and smile.
The treatment isn't cheap though. It's between eight and twelve thousand dollars for a four week session, five days a week. But Kyle says it's worth it and that you can't put a price on your happiness and mental health.
While most insurance doesn't cover TMS, according to a company spokesperson, 75% of people who have aggressively appealed their insurance providers have been reimbursed.
For more info on the NeuroStar TMS therapy go to www.NeuroStartTMS.com