Pain Medicine

ShareRepetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) significantly reduced phantom limb pain in patients who had lost limbs to land mine explosions for up to 15 days, according to a study in the Journal of Pain (2016 ;17:911-918). Sixty-three percent of patients experienced a greater than 50% reduction in pain. No significant side effects were reported. Read the full article at Anesthesiology News...

Case Study: Depression and Bipolar Disorder

ShareA 26-year-old graduate student at a rigorous university, Christina was having trouble keeping up with her studies due to a lack of interest, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness – signs of depression and bipolar disorder. Referred by her psychiatrist, she came to the TMS Center of Colorado for an evaluation, desperately hoping for some relief. Christina had already tried numerous prescription drugs to deal with depression and bipolar disorder, including the prescription drugs Klonopin, Wellbutrin and Vyvanse, along with a three-month course of psychotherapy. As part of her evaluation, Christina was tested for depression and anxiety. Her Beck Depression Inventory-II® (BDI) score was 34, which is categorized as severe depression. On the Patient Health Questionnaire-9® (PHQ-9) for depression, she scored 16, which is categorized as moderately severe depression. Christina’s Beck Anxiety Inventory® (BAI) score was a 19, which is just below the cutoff for moderate anxiety. Based on her treatment history and test scores, Christina was recommended for a six-week course of treatment with Brainsway® deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) that was carried out at the TMS Center of Colorado. Christina received a total of 30 dTMS treatments over seven weeks. After less than two weeks of treatment, her depression and anxiety assessment scores dropped significantly, and she reported feeling “awesome” and waking up without a feeling of “dread.” Within five weeks of starting treatment, Christina’s depression scores indicated a remission of depression, and her anxiety assessment score had dropped to a 3, which is considered negligible. By the end of treatment, her depression scores indicated full remission, and her anxiety levels were greatly decreased. During the second half...

Case Study: Severe Depression

ShareLexi, a 22-year-old female, was referred to TMS Center of Colorado for treatment of severe depression and anxiety by another doctor. At the time she got her doctor’s referral, she was unable to attend college, had strong suicidal thoughts and was hospitalized three times in 12 months for depression. Lexi had suffered from depression and anxiety since age 16 and had a strong family history of mental illness on both sides of her family. To help deal with this, she had tried eleven different prescription medications, including Prozac, Cymbalta and Abilify. She also took vitamin D, multivitamins, fish oil and exercised regularly to try and make things better. The prescription drugs made little difference, and they often made Lexi irritable and unable to get a good night’s sleep. She had also been through many years of once-a-week counseling with several different therapists. The sessions were helpful in a general way, but they didn’t really help at all with her depression and anxiety. At her initial TMS evaluation, Lexi’s depression test score was 31, which is in the “severe depression” category on the Beck Depression Inventory®-II index, one of the most widely used tests for measuring depression. Her anxiety test using the Beck Anxiety Inventory® was 39, a score that means severe anxiety. Based on her test results and evaluation, TMS Center of Colorado treated Lexi with a series of Brainsway® deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) sessions over a period of eight weeks. Lexi received a total of 35 dTMS sessions, and she started to see promising results. In just the first week, her depression and anxiety were getting better,...

Case Study: Grateful to be Alive!

Share By the time 59-year-old “Maddie” arrived at TMS Center of Colorado, she had tried just about everything to treat her depression and anxiety, including counseling, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and medication. It seemed there was no hope. She had been in therapy for 15 years and hospitalized three times for mental health reasons. She was also prescribed numerous powerful drugs and had six sessions of ECT. Referred to TMS Center of Colorado by her psychiatrist, Maddie was feeling sad and depressed all the time, and she also had strong suicidal thoughts. She was crying frequently and also suffering from anxiety. Medications that she had tried – without success – to treat her mental health issues included: Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Topiramate, Abilify, Thyroxone and Acamprosate. When Maddie came in for her psychiatric evaluation at the center, her test scores showed she had significant depression and her anxiety was in the moderate category. Based on her test results and evaluation, TMS Center of Colorado recommended and carried out a course of Brainsway® deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) therapy over a period of eight weeks. After her initial 38 dTMS sessions, Maddie’s depression score decreased to 6 and her anxiety score decreased to 2. The low scores reflect the “normal ups and downs” of daily life and indicate a remission of both depression and anxiety. Maddie continues to come in for maintenance sessions once every two weeks and has been in the maintenance phase of treatment for about 2 years. The ongoing treatments have allowed Maddie to maintain the positive effects of TMS, and her scores continue to stay just above remission levels....

Facebook Rolls Out New Features to Help Prevent Suicides

ShareSuicide prevention is a topic that often isn’t addressed enough. It’s a hard thing to talk about, whether you are the one having the suicidal thoughts or you’re afraid a loved one is. Facebook is now trying to help in a big way. This past week they rolled out new features that are designed to make it easy to deliver support to anyone who puts up a post about possibly committing suicide. If one of your Facebook friends posts something that makes you think they may be in danger of harming themselves, you can report the post to Facebook. To do that, all you have to do is click the arrow at the top right of the post. You will be given the option to contact the friend who made the post, contact another friend for support or contact a suicide prevention hotline. Once you have reported the post to Facebook using any of the options, specially trained staff will look at the post. If they determine that it seems distressing, the person who made the post will be greeted with pop up messages the next time they log into Facebook. The message will be totally private, but it will let the Facebook user know a friend is concerned that they are going through something difficult and asked Facebook to look at a recent post. The friend who reported the post remains anonymous. Facebook will then direct them through several options including looking at the distressing post, encouraging them to call a friend, offering simple tips to help immediately and finding a local mental health professional who can help....

TMS for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

ShareMost common depression medications are not approved for use by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. This leaves many women with the difficult decision of choosing between their mental health and the health of the baby. An important 2011 study showed that TMS is safe and may provide an effective, alternative depression treatment for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Published in the Journal of Women’s Health, the pilot study treated 10 women diagnosed with major depressive disorder with 20 controlled-dose TMS therapy sessions. The results showed that seven of 10 (70%) subjects responded positively to the treatments, with researchers reporting a decrease of greater than 50% in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) scores. There were no adverse pregnancy or fetal outcomes, with all infants admitted to well-baby nursery and discharged with the...