Effective Treatment for Pill Resistant Depression

After TBI many people experience persistent depression even after trying anti-depressant medication. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a modality that can help relieve pill resistant depression without causing the tiny seizures or memory dysfunction associated with electroconvulsant therapy. TMS treatments are administered by placing a small device on the patient’s scalp while she sits in a chair in an office. Typically treatments are administered over a 25 day course. Multiple studies have shown that TMS reduces depression without showing how.

On 9/25/14 researchers Connor Liston and Marc Dubin from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York published a study that sheds light on how TMS works. Using functional MRI they found that prior to treatment depressed patients had hyper-connectivity between the subgenual cingulate cortex and a part of the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain. After treatment connectivity between the neurons in these areas was reduced back to normal and the patients were less depressed. The patients who benefited most from TMS were the ones with the greatest pre-treatment hyperconnectivity.

 

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