Anxiety, Depression

Decoding Neurohealth and Its Relation To TMS Treatment

You may have heard of transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, before. It’s a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. 

But what you may not know is that TMS is rooted in neuroscience—the study of the nervous system. In this post, we’ll explore what neuro health is and how transcranial magnetic stimulation can help improve not only your mental health but your entire life.

cropped view of senior man playing with puzzles

What is Neurohealth?

Neurohealth is a branch of neuroscience that focuses on the relationship between the nervous system and full-body health. 

Neuroscientists who study neurohealth aim to understand how the nervous system affects our physical and mental health, and vice versa. By understanding this relationship, we can develop new treatments for conditions like depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and more.

To put it simply, neuro health is a state of well-being that is achieved by maintaining healthy brain function. This can be accomplished through lifestyle choices, diet, exercise, and mental stimulation. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:

Lifestyle Choices

Your lifestyle choices have a direct impact on your neuro health. Things like smoking, drinking, and drug use can all lead to negative consequences for your brain health. Additionally, chronic stress can also take a toll on your cognitive function. On the other hand, things like getting enough sleep, managing stress, and socializing can all help improve your neuro health.

Diet

What you eat also plays a role in your neuro health. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is ideal. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for maintaining healthy brain function. You can get omega-3s by eating fish or taking a supplement.

Exercise

Exercise is not only good for your physical health but it’s also good for your brain health. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps to reduce inflammation. It also helps to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. All of these things are important for maintaining a healthy brain.

Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is also important for keeping your brain healthy. Activities like reading, puzzles, and crosswords can help to keep your mind sharp as you age. Challenging yourself with new activities can also help to keep your mind active and engaged.

What Does TMS Do?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. During a TMS session, a coil is placed against your head near your forehead. The coil produces brief magnetic pulses that pass through your skull and stimulate the neurons in your brain.

How Does TMS Work?

TMS is thought to work by sending electrical currents directly into targeted brain regions. These currents then adjust the activity of neurons in the area, which can lead to changes in brain function. 

For example, TMS has been shown to increase blood flow and neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain responsible for higher-order cognition and executive function.

TMS is usually given five times per week for four to six weeks. Each session lasts about 30 to 60 minutes, during which time the patient sits in a chair and wears a helmet that delivers the magnetic pulses. There is no anesthesia required and most people report no side effects.

While TMS is most commonly used to treat depression, it has also been shown to be effective for a variety of other conditions, such as OCD, PTSD, and chronic pain. In addition, TMS is being investigated as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

How does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Tie Into Neuroscience?

As we mentioned before, TMS is rooted in neuroscience—the study of the nervous system. By understanding how the nervous system works, we can develop new and effective treatments for conditions like depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and more.

In other words, transcranial magnetic stimulation is a neuroscientific approach to treating mental health conditions. The goal of TMS is to stimulate the neurons in the brain in order to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of mental illness. Through research, TMS has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

 If you’re interested in learning more about neuro health and TMS, please contact us today. 

How Can TMS Help My Mental Health?

TMS is a breakthrough treatment for depression because it offers hope to people who have not been able to find relief from other treatments, such as therapy and medication. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, TMS has been found to be an effective treatment for major depression that has not responded well to other treatments. 

The electrical pulses delivered through TMS have the ability to directly target specific areas of the brain in ways other treatments simply can’t. Many patients find relief from their depressive symptoms within the first few sessions.

Researchers are also studying whether TMS can be used to treat other conditions like anxiety, OCD, PTSD, migraines, and more. While more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that TMS may be an effective treatment for these conditions as well. 

Neurohealth and TMS Go Hand In Hand:

In conclusion, neurohealth is a branch of neuroscience that focuses on the relationship between the nervous system and health. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain and it is rooted in neuroscience. 

TMS is FDA-approved to treat depression that has not responded to other treatments like medication or therapy but researchers are also studying whether TMS can be used to treat other conditions like anxiety, OCD, PTSD, migraines, etc. 

If you want to learn more about neuro health or TMS please contact our TMS Doctor today at 301-363-1063

Resources:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1024oO_mxcFgE3Gsuo8ZogD-jnoEi_ixEWS_3tayc7gg/edit?usp=sharing

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/about/pac-20384625

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Anxiety, Depression

Is There a Link Between Anxiety and Depression?

When you think of anxiety, what comes to mind? Probably something related to a heightened state of arousal (due to adrenaline pumping through the body). 

Now, when you think of depression, what comes to mind? Depression symptoms often look like fatigue, burnout, or an overall state of apathy. 

Despite anxiety disorders being considered a ‘high energy’ condition, and major depressive disorders being considered a ‘low energy’ condition, these two mental illnesses actually have quite a bit in common. 

If you feel as though you’re experiencing both, you might be overwhelmed by your treatment options.

Let’s talk about the relationship between depression and anxiety and what you can do to gain control over your mental health. 

What Causes Anxiety?

There are various forms of anxiety however the most common and broad diagnosis given to a majority of patients is generalized anxiety disorder

This type of anxiety is characterized by a chronic state of fear, worry, or stress about everyday life. In some cases, their anxiety may be triggered by seemingly nothing at all!

Since every person’s experience with anxiety is unique, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes it. However, there are a few known reasons anxiety can occur:

Past or Childhood Experiences:

Childhood is an extremely sensitive stage in life, and going through any sort of trauma during these developmental years can follow you into adulthood. Many people that suffer from anxiety have a history of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, or racism. 

Current Situations:

Ongoing problems in life can also cause anxiety to form. These events can include (but are not limited to):

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Exhaustion 
  • Burnout
  • Stress
  • Sudden change 
  • Financial problems 
  • Losing someone 
  • Abuse 

Other Causes:

Here are other common reasons anxiety may begin to take over:

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Other mental illnesses (such as depression) 
  • Genetics
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Diet
  • Certain medications
  • Physical health problems 

What Causes Depression?

Depression is known as a chronic low mood made up of feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, frustration, guilt, and despair. Many people that experience depression may not know exactly why they feel depressed, they just know they do. 

Depression can make an individual lose sudden interest in things that once made them happy, while simultaneously avoiding social events and gatherings that may have previously attended. 

Thankfully, much research has been done on why depression occurs. These factors can vary greatly from person to person, and some people have more than one. Just with anxiety, depression is unique from person to person however common similarities remain. 

Past or Childhood Experiences:

Early trauma can become integrated into our subconscious, making us view the world in a cynical, negative manner even if we don’t remember the event as an adult. 

Experiences of abuse, neglect, assault, or unstable family life can all contribute to depression later on. 

In addition, children that experience many smaller challenges in life are more at risk for developing depression than children who only experience one or two stressful events. 

Current Situations:

Large changes in day-to-day life as an adult can make you feel completely overwhelmed, and cause your body to shut down. This can cause feelings of depression and hopelessness. 

Circumstances include:

  • Losing a job 
  • Unemployment 
  • Financial burdens 
  • Death of a loved one
  • Marriage 
  • Divorce 
  • Abuse or assault 
  • Bullying 

Other Causes:

Just like anxiety, there are other reasons depression may occur such as:

  • Genetics
  • Other mental illnesses (such as anxiety)
  • Physical health problems 
  • Diet
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Alcohol and substance use

Looking At The Connection Between Anxiety and Depression:

Now that we’re clear on what causes anxiety and depression we can see a direct connection between the two. These two mental illnesses, while anxiety and depressive symptoms differ - have the same causes. This is why depression and anxiety often occur simultaneously in many patients. 

The relationship between anxiety and depression is cyclical. This means one can easily cause the other. 

Anxiety disorders cause more than just fear and worry. They can cause an internal battle of low self-esteem, disgust, and negative thoughts. All of these can trigger depression. 

Nevertheless, depression is more than just feeling sad. It can bring about feelings of losing control, restlessness, or irritability. All of these can increase stress and cause anxiety to form. 

This cyclical relationship is even more prominent if either disorder is left untreated. Unmanaged anxiety can turn into major depressive disorder as each day seems like a never ending internal battle. On the other hand, unmanaged depression can manifest into anxiety as an individual may begin to feel completely overwhelmed with day to day life. 

Are Medications The Best Treatment For Anxiety and Depression?

Many people will tell you to turn to medication for your anxiety and depression. While medications have been used for decades with success, there are many harmful side effects that can occur. 

Some of the most common include:

  • Shakiness
  • Feeling nauseous 
  • Indigestion 
  • Diarrhea or constipation 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight loss or weight gain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Dependence 

If you feel as though you need medication it’s often highly encouraged to engage in another form of treatment such as therapy. While medications may work in the short term, they aren’t a long-term solution nor do they get to the root of the problem. 

In addition, antidepressant medications may not be recommended for use with other prescriptions, while pregnant, or while breastfeeding. This means you may find yourself having to quit cold turkey at some point in the future, which can lead to even more problems. 

What Is The Best Treatment Option For Anxiety and Depression?

Here at Gemini TMS we desire to heal your mind from the inside out. Instead of pushing potentially harmful medications and sending you on your way, we work to provide relief from anxiety and depression without risky side-effects. 

But how do we do this?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is how. TMS is an FDA-approved, long-lasting treatment option for patients with both anxiety and/or depression. It’s a non-invasive way to target the centers of the brain associated with both mood and mental illness. 

TMS is an excellent option for residents of Elkridge, Maryland who feel as though their anxiety and depression have become unresponsive to other forms of treatment, or who are searching for an alternative to traditional antidepressant medication.

If you struggle with the debilitating impact anxiety and depression have on your life, TMS may be the key. Finding freedom and healing from mental illness is possible. In fact, it just may be the best decision you ever make.

Sources:

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A women suffering from depression side effects
Anxiety, Depression

Side Effects Of TMS Therapy

An estimated 21 million adults in the United States suffered from at least one major depressive episode in 2020. 

While many are prescribed antidepressants, there are alternative treatments with promising results gaining popularity among sufferers.  

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an alternative brain stimulation therapy. It can improve symptoms of neurological or mental health disorders, including major depression

But what are the side effects of TMS therapy? 

Learn more about TMS therapy's side effects before weighing up your treatment options. 

What Is TMS Therapy?

TMS therapy is a noninvasive procedure. The technique uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in a specific brain area. It is a treatment designed for people with severe depression who haven't had any success on antidepressant medication. 

While TMS has shown great promise with major depression, it is also a possible treatment for schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

In 2008, the FDA cleared TMS therapy for treatment in depressed adult patients when antidepressants have failed to work. Although it was developed in the 1980s, relatively few know about TMS's advantages and disadvantages. 

How Does TMS Work?

TMS works by treating the underactive areas of the brain that are responsible for your mood with mild magnetic pulses that stimulate cells and improve brain function.

These pulses encourage the cells to re-activate and release mood-enhancing signals throughout the body, relieving stubborn depression symptoms. 

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the patient's head. The coil directs a concentrated magnetic field to pre-determined mapped areas on the brain. It encourages the brain to produce serotonin improving mood and relieving symptoms. 

As the magnetic pulses are delivered into the brain, it will make a clicking noise, and a patient may also feel a tap on their head with each pulse. This is entirely normal. While earplugs are provided, many choose to listen to music through earbuds or headphones.  

Treatment sessions vary in length. This typically depends on the number of pulses delivered. For most patients, treatment lasts around 40 minutes. Once finished, patients are welcome to resume their everyday duties. 

Is TMS Therapy Safe? 

Yes. Unlike other invasive treatments, TMS does not require surgery and is considered safe and well-tolerated.

Some of the benefits of TMS include:

  • Noninvasive 
  • FDA-approved 
  • Promote improved sleep 
  • Elevate mood
  • Provide long-lasting relief from depression
  • It does not require anesthesia 
  • Improve mild anxiety  

Many patients who receive TMS therapy report several improvements in their depression symptoms. They include an elevated mood, decreased feelings of sadness, and a renewed interest in hobbies.

Side Effects of TMS Therapy

As with any treatment, it's important to understand the pros and cons. While the negative side effects of TMS therapy are minimal, knowing what to expect will help you decide whether to go ahead with the treatment. 

The following are possible transcranial magnetic stimulation side effects that patients may experience during treatment. 

Mild Headaches

Mild headaches are one of the most common side effects patients report when undergoing TMS therapy. Headaches during and after TMS are not uncommon and are typically resolved with over-the-counter pain relief. Patients are more likely to experience headaches during their first session, but the frequency decreases with subsequent sessions. 

-

Scalp Pain

While the pulses are emitting, patients may experience mild scalp irritation. This is caused by the light tapping sensation on the scalp. The few who experience scalp pain often find it improves over time as they get used to the tapping sensation. 

-

Neck Pain

It is not uncommon for patients to experience mild neck pain during and after their treatment session. The pain tends to diminish throughout treatment. However, adjustments can be made in coil repositioning and stimulation settings to reduce discomfort. 

-

Tingling

Most TMS patients experience no side effects, but some report tingling sensations in the jaw, face, and scalp. However, most find the tingling sensation decreases within a few weeks after the completion of treatment. 

-

Facial Twitching

Because TMS utilizes magnetic waves to stimulate peripheral nerves, patients may experience mild facial twitching. While it may feel odd, it is normal to feel your face twitch during treatment sessions. They are harmless and nothing to feel concerned about.  

-

Low Risk of Seizures 

The vast majority of patients who undergo TMS will not experience seizures. However, there are several factors that can impact the probability of seizures.

Factors include patients with:

  • Epilepsy 
  • Traumatic brain injury 
  • Excessive alcohol use 
  • Sleep deprivation

Healthy patients with no preexisting conditions have an extremely low risk of experiencing seizures due to TMS therapy. A recent study found that the risk of TMS-related seizures is <1% overall. 

-

Time Commitment 

Depending on how you respond to the treatment, TMS therapy can last for about 4 to 6 weeks with five sessions per week. This requires a significant time commitment that not everyone can achieve.

However, TMS therapy does not require sedation that can interfere with the ability to work or drive. Once your session is over, you can resume normal activities. 

Depression Medication Side Effects

Antidepressants are the most common medicine prescribed to treat major depression. They aim to correct chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain. 

Unfortunately, antidepressants can cause unpleasant side effects. The following are possible antidepressant side effects that patients may experience.

-

Nausea

Nause is a common side effect during the first few weeks of taking the medication. As your serotonin levels increase, the stimulation can cause GI-related symptoms such as nausea. Patients may also experience nausea when treatment is stopped too suddenly. 

-

Weight Gain

Weight gain is an unpleasant side effect of nearly all antidepressant medications. Some patients are unfazed by weight gain as it outweighs their symptoms of depression. While others, especially younger individuals, are more affected. 

-

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a typical side effect of many antidepressants. That's some because antidepressants have an inhibiting influence on saliva production. This may lead to a dry mouth. 

Many patients find sipping water regularly, and chewing gum are strategies to reduce dry mouth. 

-

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is not an uncommon side effect for patients taking antidepressants. Select SSRIs such as Prozac and Lexapro can affect the muscle function of the eye and make it difficult to focus on objects. Depression medications may also increase the risk of developing cataracts in order patients. 

-

Serotonin Syndrome 

While uncommon, serotonin syndrome is a severe set of side effects linked to SSRIs and SNRIs. It occurs when your serotonin levels are too high. Symptoms may include: 

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Muscle twitching
  • Sweating
  • Shivering

More severe serotonin syndrome symptoms include seizures, arrhythmia, and unconsciousness. 

-

Suicidal Thoughts 

The ultimate goal of antidepressants is to reduce the symptoms of depression. In rare cases, patients may experience suicidal thoughts and a desire to self-harm. This typically occurs in patients under 25. 

Those who experience suicidal thoughts on depression medication should reconsider their treatment options. 

Who Cannot Get TMS Therapy?

TMS therapy isn't for everyone. While it is considered safe, some people should avoid this treatment. 

You cannot get TMS therapy if you have the following: 

  • Metal devices or objects implanted in your head  
  • History of epilepsy or seizures
  • History of substance abuse 
  • Facial tattoos with metallic ink 
  • Stents in the neck or brain

Since TMS has a strong magnet, patients with any form of a metal non-removable head implant are advised not to pursue this treatment. The magnet can make implants move or heat up, causing severe head trauma. 

Who Will Benefit From TMS Therapy?

TMS doesn't work for everyone. But when it does, symptoms of depression can improve significantly. In some cases, they may go away completely. 

To benefit from TMS therapy, you will need to be the right candidate. You may be able to have TMS therapy if you: 

  • Have a major depressive disorder diagnosis 
  • Traditional medications have failed to work
  • You're not satisfied with the results from traditional medication
  • You can't tolerate the side effects of medication 
  • You have an illness that restricts what types of medication you can take
  • Your depression continues to interfere with your day-to-day life

During your initial consultation, your physician will review your history and conduct an assessment to determine if TMS therapy is right for you. 

Invigorate Your Life With TMS Therapy 

When you consider the side effects of TMS therapy, it's important to weigh them up against other forms of treatment, including antidepressants. 

At the end of the day, TMS has advantages and disadvantages. While antidepressants may provide short-term relief, some people need to take them long-term to experience continued success. Coming off can also cause withdrawal and set you up for a relapse. 

On the other hand, TMS therapy works relatively quickly with a high success rate for treating depression. While you may experience symptoms, these are generally mild and will go away after several treatments. 

If you're suffering from severe and debilitating depression, TMS therapy may be right for you. 

Contact of TMS office in Mt. Airy Maryland to schedule a consultation today. 

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