Geriatric Healthcare Consultants King City CA
Los Angeles, CA
Geriatrics, Geriatric Psychiatry
Medical School: Harvard Med Sch, Boston Ma 02115
Graduation Year: 1995
Beverly Hills, CA
Geriatrics, Geriatric Psychiatry
Medical School: Tel Aviv Univ, Sackler Fac Of Med, Tel Aviv, Israel
Graduation Year: 1996
Family Practice, Geriatric Medicine
Geriatrics, Geriatric Medicine-Internal Medicine
Medical School: Univ Of Southern Ca Sch Of Med, Los Angeles Ca 90033
Graduation Year: 1987
Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine
San Diego, CA
Geriatrics, Geriatric Medicine-Family Practice
Medical School: Des Moines Univ, Coll Osteo Med & Surg, Des Moines Ia 50312
Graduation Year: 1964
By Linda Childers
Most types of magnet therapy sound like snake oil. A spam email, obscure website, or glowing advertisement promises that magnets will cure all your ailments, restore your youth, and do everything but your taxes. But not all of the magnet therapies are bogus. Take transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This noninvasive therapy uses magnetic fields to increase brain activity, and exciting new research shows it may alleviate depression in even the toughest of cases and may even treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s, insomnia, and memory loss.
During TMS therapy, doctors place a device containing a magnetic coil on your head, which generates magnetic pulses that travel to specific areas of your brain and create an electric current. This appears to activate the neurons there, although researchers haven’t figured out the exact mechanism yet. The procedure takes about 20 to 45 minutes, and you usually receive daily sessions for several weeks.
Metal coils and magnetic pulses may seem, well, strange. But many physicians—including Mark George, MD, a distinguished professor of psychiatry and radiology and director of the Center for Advanced Imaging Research and Brain Stimulation Laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina—view TMS as a safe and effective way of relieving depression. “In our research, we’ve found that many people with depression who don’t respond to talk therapy and/or medications do respond to TMS,” George says. “One of the benefits of TMS is its unprecedented accuracy, which allows physicians to target the front area of a patient’s brain, an area associated with mood regulation.” By stimulating brain functions and chemical activity, George says, TMS effectively “jump-starts” the mood- regulating parts of the brain and significantly improves the condition of depressed patients.
It certainly had that effect on Susan Morris, 49, of Camden, South Carolina. She had suffered from depression for many years and had tried talk therapy and various antidepressants, including Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Celexa, without success. “The medications either didn’t work, or they quit working after a short period of time,” she says. Last year, after a two-year bout of severe depression, Morris found herself on a downward spiral. “In October of 2007, I went through a period of depression when I feared I would hit rock bottom and not be able to get back up,” she says.
George, a pioneer in the field of TMS, suggested Morris undergo a series of half-hour TMS treatments over the course of three days. The results were immediate: Her depression lifted a day or two after the treatments. Others have had similar experiences. A 2007 study published in Biological Psychiatry, for example, looked at more than 300 people with severe depression and for whom antidepressants hadn’t worked. Half of the group received five TMS treatments a week, each session lasting 35 minutes. The other half of the group received placebo tre...
Author: Linda Childers
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