Health Team

Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare invests in NeuroStar TMS Therapy technology

Posted February 7, 2013
Updated March 7, 2013

More than 14 million Americans suffer from depression each year. Antidepressant drugs often provide relief; however, certain patients need a different form of treatment. Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare offers an alternative to treat depression.

NeuroStar TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) Therapy is a non-invasive alternative for patients who do not respond to medication. Depression consumes an individual’s thoughts and behavior, and 4 million patients a year do not respond to antidepressants. Carolina Partners is one of two offices in North Carolina offering this FDA approved treatment.

Dr. Sandeep Vaishnavi, Director of the Neuropsychiatric Clinic at Carolina Partners said, “We are very happy with our investment in this state-of-the-art technology and that we have new form of treatment for our patients.”

TMS therapy is a daily outpatient procedure that takes less than an hour each day. Patients are awake and alert during the sessions, reclining in a treatment chair. A device containing magnets sits on top of the patient’s head, delivering magnetic stimulation to the brain. The duration of the treatment lasts four to six weeks.

“TMS has the advantage that it is a very focal treatment, affecting only a certain circuit and not affecting the rest of the body or the brain,” said Dr. Vaishnavi.

This focal treatment leads to decreased side effects as compared to standard medications or the invasive Electro Convulsive Therapy, which can lead to long-term memory loss and dementia. Patients can return to normal activities after leaving their doctor’s office, but may experience discomfort around the treatment area, which typically does not last beyond the first week of treatment.

The device is approved in Europe to treat clinical depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and bipolar disorder. The treatment is new to the United States, though Medicare is already covering TMS treatment in the Northeast. Doctors believe that TMS could be used to treat more and clinical trials are taking place to determine if it could be used to treat cocaine addiction, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s and other conditions.

Dr. Vaishnavi said, “It is a remarkable technology that takes advantage of our recent advances in neuroscience and knowledge about the neural circuitry of depression.”

To learn more about TMS, click here or call Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare at (919) 929-9610.

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