A New Form of Depression Treatment Offered at CHS: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
A non-invasive, drug-free treatment for adults who haven’t had success with antidepressive medication.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to treating mental health issues. For those coping with major depressive disorders, antidepressants can play an invaluable role. However, for those who experience what is known as treatment-resistant depression, standard medications may provide little relief.
Catholic Health Services (CHS) is now adding the FDA-approved Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy treatment to its wide range of behavioral health services. TMS is offered to treatment-resistant adults suffering from depression who do not have full and complete recovery from medication therapy. The drug-free, non-invasive treatment uses short pulses of a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood in an attempt to create a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitter levels.
“CHS is committed to providing its patients and their families with access to the latest cutting-edge technologies as part of its overall service line growth and center of excellence development," explained Executive Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA, FACEP. "TMS is one of many modalities that will benefit our patients being treated for refractory depression.”
TMS takes place in an outpatient setting and does not require any form of sedation or anesthesia. The treatment is not associated with the common side effects of medication such as weight gain, sleepiness or loss of sex drive. It is much less invasive than electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and memory loss is not associated with TMS. During TMS therapy, patients are fully awake, resting in a chair. A small curved magnetic coil device is placed over their head. This device delivers magnetic pulses to the brain, and these pulses cause electrical changes within the underlying brain circuitry. When the treatment is finished, patients can immediately resume normal activities. Best of all, according to accepted scientific literature, about 50% of patients have experienced drastic reductions in their symptoms and approximately 30% experience complete remission from their depression.
“We are constantly searching for the latest and innovative treatments in mental health healing and offering TMS therapy is an important step in continuing to provide optimal health care to our patients,” said CHS’s Medical Chief of the Behavioral Health Service Line Ronald Brenner, MD. “We are excited to offer this cutting-edge medical technology to adults suffering from neurological and other mood disorders as an alternative treatment option.”
TMS therapy treatment is available at CHS’s Mercy Medical Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Services office in Garden City, NY. It’s widely covered by major insurance plans and is available by prescription.
“I have seen firsthand how much people with depression who have not responded positively to medications can suffer,” said Mercy Medical Center’s Director of Behavioral Health Services David Flomenhaft, LCSW, PhD. “I am optimistic about the success of TMS therapy and am looking forward to providing patients with the relief that they’ve been seeking.”
For more information, call 1-855-CHS-4500 or visit www.chsli.org.
Photo Caption (L to R): Mercy Psychiatrist Dr. Shehla Yusaf; Mercy Assistant Director of Behavioral Health Services Janet Starr LCSW; CHS Chief of the Behavioral Health Service Line Dr. Ronald Brenner; Mercy Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services Dr. Karl Dormesy; CHS Executive Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA, FACEP; Mercy Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services Stephanie Coiro, LCSW; and Director of Mercy Behavioral Health Services Dr. David Flomenhaft, LCSW.
Photo Credit: Alida Almonte