Special Report: Neurostar TMS therapy

courtesy: KNOE
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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A possible new treatment for people who suffer from depression is making a difference in some people. It's called "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" or TMS Therapy, a treatment that has helped Monroe native John Moden with his anxiety - which goes hand in hand with depression.

Dr. Calvin Walker and his team at the TMS Center in Northeast Louisiana uses the Neurostar TMS device. Dr. Walker said it was cleared by the FDA in 2008 for use in the treatment of depression and that quickly sparked their interest.

Dr. Walker, "I was excited to have the opportunity to provide this type of treatment to our patients. We have averaged over a 92% success rate in our practice."

However, you should be aware of the pros and cons before receiving the therapy.

The cost, if it's not covered by your insurance will set you back $10,000. Also, the treatment is time consuming. Each treatment cycle includes 30 sessions - 5 times a week, over the course of 6 weeks for about 40 minutes each.

The treatment is not full proof, and it does not work 100% of the time.

On the positive side, half of TMS patients experience full remission and there is no side effects that come with taking an oral medication. The treatment has essentially no increase in suicidal thoughts.

So, how does this work? It directly stimulates a depressed brain using electrical energy passed through a coil of wires to create a powerful magnetic field. Energy from this field activates the brain, in effect, turning it back on.

Though it took time and money, John Moden said he has no regrets, saying, "You can't put a price on quality of life."

Again, TMS is for patients with depression who haven't had luck getting results from anti-depressant medication. It is covered by some insurances and works best on patients ages 18-70.