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Depression ruined her life for years. Kansas City doctor’s ‘helmet’ changed everything

BY LISA GUTIERREZ
UPDATED AUGUST 22, 2022 3:33 PM

Lori Jackson 55, of Overland Park relaxes her face as technician Stefanie Sizemore secures the Deep TMS helmet to her head to treat depression at Interpersonal Psychiatry in Kansas City. LUKE JOHNSON The Kansas City Star

Depression sucked the life from Lori Jackson’s time on this earth for nearly 40 years. On her darkest days in college she hung a blanket over her dorm room window to block out the light and slept, skipping classes.

As she had her three children, her doctor prescribed Prozac for postpartum depression, but that didn’t lift the darkness.

“It’s hard to describe, and it’s kinda cliche maybe. … You just feel like somebody has put a black, non-see-through blanket over your head,” said Jackson, who is 55 and lives in Overland Park. “It’s heavy and it’s black and it’s just always there. You really can’t comprehend it unless you’ve experienced it.”

She tried so many unsuccessful depression treatments — including electroconvulsive therapy at a Johnson County hospital — she didn’t care whether she lived or died by the time her Kansas City psychiatrist, Dr. Irfan Handoo, asked her to try just one more thing.

It was something he was excited about, a newer version of TMS — transcranial magnetic stimulation — a non-invasive therapy he and other psychiatrists have used for years to treat major depressive disorder.

With TMS, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008, patients wear an electromagnetic coil on their head. It creates a magnetic field, sending electric pulses through their skull and stimulating nerve cells in a part of the brain involved in regulating mood.

Handoo wanted Jackson to try a newer version of the therapy called Deep TMS that delivers those pulses even deeper into the brain. It is approved by the FDA for patients who aren’t getting better by taking antidepressant medications.

Handoo is among the first and one of the few psychiatrists offering Deep TMS therapy in the Kansas City area.

“When I saw Lori, she had one of the most severe cases of depression I’d seen,” Handoo told The Star. “She was having active suicidal thoughts on almost a daily basis. And she had given up.

“But I said do not give up. I said I’m telling you I’ve done the research, just believe me. We’re going to do something that’s far better. And to her credit she believed me.”

It changed her life.

Jackson, on a recent weekday afternoon, sat in an exam room in Handoo’s Kansas City office with what looked like an oversized bicycle helmet on her head, hooked up to a machine behind her.

When the 19-minute treatment began, a burst of jackhammer noise exploded into the room.

Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat.. Rat-a-tat-tat.

Under the padded helmet, the corners of Jackson’s eyes twitched. Her jaw involuntarily clenched. Some patients wear a mouth guard but she did not. She did, though, wear earplugs.

Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat.

She said later the pulses — delivered in a 2-seconds-on-20-seconds-off rhythm — are an odd sensation, but not painful.

“It’s completely doable,” she said.

And for the first time in nearly 30 years, Jackson’s depression has lifted.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, she’s holding down a job, as an office assistant. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, the World Health Organization says.

“The sun is shining, it really is,” she said. “And the blanket’s gone. I don’t feel any depression. Now, there’s things … I feel discouraged about that. Note that I didn’t say I feel depressed about that, which normally would have set me in a hole.

“It’s miraculous, the way I feel. My brain did a complete 180.”

About 1 in 5 people will experience depression in their lifetime, and it is treatable for most. But some estimates suggest as many as 40% of patients are considered treatment-resistant like Jackson. And at some point, some of them give up trying and simply live in the dark.

But that’s not happening in Handoo’s office, which bought a Deep TMS machine created by international medical technology company BrainsWay. Since Dec. 1, Handoo has been administering the therapy to about 20 patients a day.

Most insurance plans will cover Deep TMS treatments, Handoo said.

“It certainly is a new advance because it does go deeper into the brain and can do things other TMS coils cannot,” said Dr. Mark George, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

George is recognized as a pioneer of TMS therapy and has written that brain stimulation methods have progressed “from unusual novelties and way-out ideas to sophisticated treatments that are now saving lives daily.”

George has worked with TMS for nearly 30 years and “the progress in my lifetime has been truly amazing,” he said.

“Now it’s a mainstream treatment, which is wonderful. I mean it really is good that there are millions of people on planet Earth now who are not depressed and living better lives because of the technology that’s relatively safe and side effect free.”

 

Kansas City psychiatrist Dr. Irfan Handoo uses Deep TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation, to treat depression patients who can’t be helped by medication and other therapies. Luke Johnson The Kansas City Star

HOW DOES TMS WORK?

Before Handoo suggested she try this newer version of TMS, Jackson came up empty with just about every method used to treat depression. ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). IV ketamine treatments used to treat major depression. She had tried traditional TMS, too, with no benefit. And, 30 different medications.

Handoo couldn’t blame her for feeling hopeless.

“All studies show that when it comes to treatment-resistant depression, once somebody’s tried and failed to respond to four or more different anti-depressants, the chance of anti-depressant No. 5 or No. 6 being that magic bullet starts to decrease with every successive medication failure,” Handoo said. “Medications can only do so much.”

Researchers say brain stimulation methods are not meant to compete with medications or traditional talk therapy, and in some cases have been found to be more effective when used with other therapy.

And yet, they say, as depression and suicide rates increase, many patients don’t know much about TMS — described as a tickling of the brain.

One estimate suggests that less than 5% of patients with depression who are eligible to receive the therapy actually get it.

The University of Kansas Health System has offered TMS therapy for the last few years, said Dr. Tyler Kjorvestad, a psychiatrist and internal medicine doctor who leads the comprehensive depression assessment and treatment clinic there.

During TMS therapy, a magnetic field targets the “dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex,” he said, an area that isn’t as active in patients with depression.

“We know that magnetic or electric stimulation of this area can actually increase the neural activity of that area. So basically we’re turning on or turning up a part of the brain that’s not necessarily always active in people with depression.”

The magnetic pulses from traditional TMS, Handoo said, travel 0.7 centimeters into the brain, where Deep TMS, using a different configuration of coils, can reach 4 to 5 centimeters and stimulates deeper and wider regions.

(Because of the pulsing, this therapy is known as rTMS, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.) Handoo said a TMS machine runs about $60,000; Deep TMS machines are a bit more expensive.

BrainsWay, the maker of the Deep TMS machine Handoo uses, “has done a lot of good research where they’ve investigated using it for treatment of other conditions, not just depression,” said George.

“And they’ve recently gotten (FDA) approval as well to use it for people who want to stop smoking.” George, who works with veterans at a VA hospital, said studies are ongoing about whether TMS therapy is effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. “In terms of looking at the future, I think there will be more and more brain conditions where we understand the circuitry and then we can use TMS to modify it,” said George.

“Right now we have about four diseases that can be treated with TMS and I wouldn’t be surprised in a couple of years from now we have 10 or 12.”

TMS technician Stefanie Sizemore jokes with patients that they’re suiting up for a biathalon because during the sessions they wear a tight-fitting cap, like a swim cap, under a helmet. Here she prepares patient Lori Jackson of Overland Park for a 19-minute session. Luke Johnson The Kansas City Star

‘IT JUST STINGS A LITTLE BIT’ Handoo’s lead TMS technician, Stefanie Sizemore, jokes with patients that they’re suiting up for a biathalon because during the sessions they wear a tight-fitting cap, like a swim cap, under a helmet. “It just stings a little bit,” said Jackson. “It’s not painful. If it is, they just move the helmet.”

A 2019 study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research that caught Handoo’s attention concluded that Deep TMS, used with standard antidepressants, is significantly more effective at reducing depression in patients with major depressive order than standard TMS or medication-only treatment.

But both methods of TMS, used with medication, were more effective than drugs alone for the nearly 230 study participants with treatment-resistant depression, researchers found. Sessions of traditional TMS can typically last 40 minutes. Deep TMS sessions are 19 minutes. “So patients can get in and out of here,” said Handoo, who has a TV set up on the wall opposite the treatment chair so patients can Netflix and chill.

The sessions are short, but there are many, which George said can be an obstacle for people who don’t live close to a treatment center. Patients have to come every day, weekends off, for six weeks in a row. The session Jackson allowed The Star to watch was her 32nd. She completed the last of 36 sessions on July 29. “It takes time, it’s a little loud, it’s a little uncomfortable,” said George.

“But over my 30 years I’ve seen just a handful of people who were unable to tolerate a treatment or have given up. Most people say if this is what it takes to get my depression better, bring it on.” Many times it can take up to two months after the last treatment to feel the full benefits, said Handoo.

During their treatment he monitors patients’ progress with the PHQ-9, a depression rating scale used worldwide. Jackson began therapy at the high end of 24, indicating severe depression — and had improved to a 6 as of her last treatment in July.

“it’s a dramatic improvement,” said Handoo. There’s also a difference that can’t be measured. When she first came to him, Jackson wore the flat, emotionless facial expression of a person trapped in depression. Today, she can muster a smile. “Just like medications that take weeks to work, TMS doesn’t work immediately after that first treatment,” Kjorvestad at KU said. “It takes a week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks sometimes, for those structural changes in your brain to occur so that you start engaging with the environment differently.”

One drawback to TMS, George said, is that doctors don’t know at the outset whether a patient will respond. “So the biggest complaint that sticks with me as a provider, people come and they sit in the chair for 30 sessions and … about a third of people won’t get better. So that’s a big complaint, that they’ve gotten their hopes up and have done all this work and they’re no better,” said George, joking that a Harry Potter sorting hat would be helpful. But Kjorvestad has seen TMS therapy open up new worlds for patients, from allowing them to return to work like Jackson to improving personal relationships.

He has seen older patients blossom, patients in their 70s, 80s who could not tolerate anti-depressants. “When you can give a patient the option to have a treatment like this that doesn’t require them to take a daily medication, or interfere with the other medications they might be on, it’s really a great option to give them their life back,” he said.

“Especially if before they were really isolated, they couldn’t get out and spend time with their friends and family. Because that really does happen a lot in that population. Those are the most rewarding patients for me.”

IT’S NOT SHOCK THERAPY

Jackson’s mother suffered from depression, too. “She was high-functioning depression,” Jackson said. “I succumbed to it and I shut down and couldn’t function. But my mom was supermom. We had a home meal every day. I was the exact opposite.” As an adult, short bouts of depression that “would pass” eventually became longer and longer. Jackson didn’t realize she needed professional help until after she had her second child in 1995.

“The pregnancy really kicked it in and it just snowballed,” she said. More than 10 years ago, before she was Handoo’s patient, Jackson had shock therapy as her marriage crumbled and her depression deepened. “My brain is still messed up. It caused short-term memory problems,” she said. TMS is not ECT, or what some people call shock therapy.

During that procedure a patient is given anesthesia in a hospital and seizures are induced. ECT is a “lifesaver” for some patients, said George. “But it’s a whole different level of side effects and potential risks.”

It can cause severe long-term and short-term memory issues that can last for years, as Jackson’s did, said Handoo, who said Deep TMS is the only thing he’s seen that has helped resolve some of those short-term memory problems caused by ECT. During her TMS treatment session, Jackson told Handoo that she had already noticed her memory improving.

“You’re already noticing that?” Handoo said. “Yeah,” she said. “Wow, that’s shocking,” said Handoo. A “very rare” side effect of TMS, George said, happens when the brain is stimulated too long and too fast, which can cause accidental seizure.

“The good news is that when those happen they happen while you’re in the chair, with the nurse right beside you, they stop on their own, and no one has gone on to have recurrent seizures or epilepsy or any kind of problems with that,” said George. It can be difficult to encourage people with depression to seek professional care, but having many and varied methods of therapy, other than taking a pill, can help, said Kjorvestad.

“I think the best pitch you could have for somebody like that is, we’re here for you,” he said, “We have these things that we can offer to you, and you don’t have to struggle with this by yourself.”

Lori Jackson has suffered from depression her entire adult life. The 55-year-old Overland Park resident finally found relief through a new treatment called Deep TMS. Stefanie Sizemore, lead TMS technician at Interpersonal Psychiatry in Kansas City, administered the therapy. Luke Johnson The Kansas City Star

 

How Deep TMS Can Treat Depression

Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Safe?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a treatment for depression that has been revolutionizing the field of clinical psychiatry.

The U.S. FDA approved TMS for the treatment of depression in 2008, with great success following. It is especially helpful for those who do not respond to antidepressants and people who wish to avoid the side effects frequently caused by medications. TMS treatments occur on weekdays and usually include six weeks of non-invasive, in-office treatments that take less than an hour each day, five days each week for approximately 30 treatments. These treatments are associated with few minor side effects, making dTMS a very safe option.

Dr. Handoo offers Deep TMS (dTMS) for patients at Interpersonal Psychiatry.

About dTMS

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive method of stimulating neuromuscular tissue using strong, time-varying magnetic fields to induce electrical currents. These can stimulate the cortex, spinal roots, and peripheral nerves. Instead of using invasive electrical currents like in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the magnetic pulses from TMS are similar in strength to those emitted during a typical MRI. The pulses are directed toward the brain’s prefrontal cortex to change the magnetic field and stimulate neurons within the mood center, known as the limbic system. This mitigates depression in the near term, with multiple sessions promoting long-lasting relief.

There are a few different ways TMS can be delivered. One distinction refers to the frequency of magnetic stimulation or pulses, while the other refers primarily to the penetrative ability. The frequencies are either single-pulse, paired-pulse, or repetitive (which is commonly seen as rTMS). However, the depth of stimulation is the most important factor to consider when choosing your treatment. 

While rTMS can directly stimulate brain areas roughly one centimeter below the skull, dTMS has the ability to stimulate brain regions up to 4 centimeters beyond the skull. Herein lies its power. While both therapies target the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), dTMS has proven especially effective in stimulating the DLPFC and providing relief from depressive symptoms. Research has demonstrated that this brain region plays an important role in mood regulation. Specifically, the DLPFC is considered a central component of negative thoughts and beliefs that are characteristic of depression.

Deep TMS achieves this with a novel electrical coil applied to the scalp. According to Brainsway, developer of dTMS: “Standard rTMS uses a figure-8 coil, while deep TMS uses a patented H-coil held inside a padded helmet. While the magnetic pulses activated by standard rTMS only reach a depth of 0.7cm, deep TMS’s technology manages to reach a significant sub-threshold of 1.25” (3.2cm). This is shown in a Brain Stimulation study from 2014. Deep TMS also utilizes a significantly wider field of stimulation compared to that of standard rTMS.”

Benefits of dTMS

  • Effective for treatment-resistant depression — those not helped by antidepressants often see quick improvement
  • No drug side effects — no reported nausea, weight gain, dry mouth, or decreased sex drive
  • Long-lasting – many patients find their depressive symptoms have subsided after about six weeks of treatment, with some requiring ongoing sessions
  • Non-invasive — no anesthesia, electrodes, or electrical current used
  • Simple, in-office — administered by a technician, and the patient can drive home afterward

What Does a dTMS Session Look Like?

TMS treatment is performed in a doctor’s office while the patient is fully awake and seated in a comfortable chair. Because the magnetic pulses make a sound similar to that of a woodpecker, earplugs are provided. The TMS device is then placed in the proper position on the head, and the magnetic pulses are delivered. The process takes 19 minutes per deep TMS session.

Dr. Handoo administers deep TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation for patients in Suite 329 at Interpersonal Psychiatry.

It is relatively simple:

  • The patient takes a seat
  • The device is placed on the head
  • Pulses are delivered for a short time
  • Patient returns to daily activities

Final Thoughts

For those with treatment-resistant depression or those hoping to avoid the side effects and uncertainty of antidepressants, which can take up to four weeks to show any signs of effectiveness if they work at all, dTMS is an innovative and well-tested solution. The process is safe and effective and requires little of the participant. If you are ready to take back control of your life, dTMS may be the right treatment for you. 

Dr. Handoo can walk you through everything you need to know to make a well-informed decision and find relief from these symptoms in a safe and welcoming environment.

How Long Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Work?

Ketamine infusion therapy is a relatively new off-label medication for severe mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideations, and even a wide range of chronic pain conditions.

While ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic, its potential to provide rapid and long-lasting relief from mental health symptoms is now being leveraged to help people who have not responded to other forms of treatments like medication and psychotherapy.

This groundbreaking treatment comes at a time when mental illnesses are becoming increasingly prevalent, with nearly 1 in 5 US adults living with some form of mental illness in any given year.

Ketamine has high efficacy and rapid onset of action, with most people experiencing relief from their symptoms within a few hours of their first infusion. However, most people need a series of infusions (usually around 6 to 8) administered over 2-3 weeks in order to achieve the full therapeutic effect of ketamine.

How Does Ketamine Therapy Work?

Ketamine has a unique mechanism of action that is different from other antidepressants. It works by blocking the NMDA receptor, which is involved in regulating glutamatergic neurotransmission. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and plays a key role in neuronal plasticity, cell survival, and synaptic transmission.

NMDA receptor blockade by ketamine results in increased synaptic concentrations of both glutamate and dopamine, which leads to the downstream effects of antidepressant and anti-inflammatory action. These changes in the brain may help explain why ketamine has a prolonged therapeutic effect.

Unlike other antidepressants that often take weeks or even months to work, the effects of ketamine are felt within hours or days, making it a potentially life-saving treatment for people experiencing acute suicidal ideations.

How Long Does The Effect Last?

In addition to its rapid onset of action, another unique aspect of ketamine is that its effects can last for weeks or even months after the initial course of treatment. This is in contrast to other treatments like medication which generally only provide relief for as long as the treatment is continued.

This long-lasting effect is likely due to the “healing” effect that ketamine has on the brain. However, it is worth noting that people respond to ketamine differently, and the remission period can vary from person to person. Most people will need booster infusions occasionally to maintain remission – some more often than others.

It’s also important to note that ketamine is not a cure for mental illness but rather a treatment that can provide relief from treatment-refractory symptoms. Ketamine can also be used alongside conventional treatments like psychotherapy to provide a more long-term solution.

Final Thoughts

Ketamine infusion therapy brings hope to those who have not responded to other treatments. Its rapid onset of action and long-term effects make it a unique and promising treatment option for mental health conditions and chronic pain. 

If you or someone you know has been living with treatment-resistant mental illness or chronic pain with no hope for relief, ketamine infusion therapy may be worth a try.

Deep TMS Treatment For Depression

Today there are many proven treatment options available to people diagnosed with depression. Deep TMS therapy, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is one of the latest and most promising treatments for depression today. TMS is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that has proven effective in reducing symptoms of severe depression.

TMS therapy works by sending magnetic pulses to the part of the brain that is thought to be responsible for controlling mood. These pulses stimulate nerve cells and help improve communication between different brain areas. 

This can help reduce symptoms of depression drastically without the traditional side effects often associated with other depression treatments, such as medication. Being an FDA-approved treatment, deep TMS has undergone extensive clinical testing and has proven to be a safe and effective alternative treatment for major depression.

What To Expect During Treatment

During a deep TMS treatment session, you will be seated in a comfortable chair with a specialized helmet-like device placed over your head. The device has an electromagnetic coil that emits magnetic pulses which pass through your skull and into your brain. You will not feel any pain or discomfort during the treatment, and you will be able to read a book or watch TV during treatment.

Most people require multiple treatment sessions to see a significant improvement in their symptoms. Treatment is typically carried out once a day for four to six weeks (acute treatment phase). The precise number of sessions will depend on the patient’s individual needs and response to treatment. One treatment session can last between 30 to 40 minutes.

Once you have completed the acute treatment phase, you may need to undergo maintenance treatments on an as-needed basis in order to keep your symptoms at bay. Typically, the remission rates after deep TMS are very high, with patients often remaining symptom-free for six months to one year.

Is TMS Therapy Safe?

Deep TMS is a safe and well-tolerated outpatient treatment with little to no side effects. The most common side effect is headaches, which typically go away soon after treatment. Other potential side effects include dizziness, facial tingling, and scalp discomfort.

Who Can Benefit From TMS Therapy?

Deep TMS can be an effective alternative treatment for patients who have failed to respond to other depression treatments, such as medication or psychotherapy. It can also be an effective treatment for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects often associated with depression medication.

However, anyone with any type of metallic implant in the head or neck areas, with the exception of dental fillings and braces, may not be a candidate for deep TMS treatment.

Final Thoughts

Deep TMS is a new, exciting alternative treatment for treatment-resistant depression that has shown great promise. If you are looking for an effective, drug-free treatment option with little to no side effects, deep TMS may be right for you.

As with any other treatment, TMS therapy is not a magic bullet and will not work for everyone. If you are considering TMS therapy, speak with a certified provider to learn more.

Should You Try Ketamine Therapy?

Living with treatment-resistant mood disorders can make the days seem long and hope for treatment futile. Despite past treatment efforts, advice from the internet, or any herbal recipes you may have stumbled upon, nothing is sticking. Maybe dieting or lifestyle changes helped for a little while, but you always seem to take one step forward, three steps back. There is hope, though: ketamine infusion therapy. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that was first used around the early 1960s, and gained popularity by treating wounded U.S. combat troops fighting in Vietnam. Since that time, scientists have discovered that it has additional medicinal value. Besides its use for anesthesia, the medicine is a fast-acting treatment option for symptoms of mood disorders like depression and chronic pain conditions, which may not always respond well to other treatments or therapy.

Ketamine & The Brain

While most antidepressants target one of the “monoamine” neurotransmitters, like serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine, ketamine has in its crosshair glutamate, your brain’s most common excitatory chemical messenger. While controlling the brain’s means to handle cognitive ideas, emotions, and neuroplasticity, glutamate encourages and strengthens synaptic networks. It also has a critical role in overall cognition – how you learn, remember, and react to experiences. Ketamine is believed to support and repair damaged or weakened neurotransmitters like glutamate.

Conditions Treatable With Ketamine

Ketamine has been used for years to treat the symptoms of many pain and mental health conditions, which for some people, become chronic conditions. A condition is classified as chronic when it fails to respond to two or more treatment options. Ketamine is used to treat several conditions:

  • Depression (major depressive disorder)
  • Anxiety symptoms like fear, avoidance, sleep issues, and eating problems
  • Bipolar disorder, which features emotional highs and lows
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma from past abuse
  • Suicidal ideation

Should You Try Ketamine Therapy?

If you are currently living with a diagnosed mental illness and have yet to find a treatment option that works for you and your symptoms, ketamine infusion therapy may just be the treatment you’ve been searching for.  

The Benefits of Ketamine

  • Ketamine has a “robust and rapid effect” on depression.
  • Ketamine infusions are quickly becoming one of the most popular treatment options for various disorders, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
  • It may also lower inflammation in the brain and boost stress resilience.
  • Ketamine has been approved to treat depression and works particularly well with “treatment-resistant depression.”

Are There Side Effects?

One of the most commonly reported side effects of ketamine is dissociation. This disconnection effect actually aids the treatment and delivers a positive response to ketamine therapy for many patients. This is all an ordinary component of the treatment. 

Final Thoughts

If you are living with treatment-resistant symptoms stemming from a mental illness, please contact Dr. Handoo at his clinic about the benefits of ketamine therapy.

Ketamine Treatments to Help You Improve your Mental Health

Depression is one of the most common mood disorders, affecting over 264 million people worldwide.  Recent studies have shown that nearly 100 million Americans have had elevated levels of depression since the pandemic.

The widespread prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder has led to the research and development of multiple treatments, the most common of which are psychotherapy and medicines. However, in some instances, neither of those treatments work, making it necessary for the patients to seek alternate treatments. One of the most effective alternative treatments for depression has been IV Ketamine Treatments.

What Is Ketamine Treatment?

The drug, which gained infamy for its misuse in parties, has surprisingly shown to be extremely useful in treating depression under medical supervision.

IV Ketamine Treatments  focus on using the body’s reaction to the drug to treat depression rather than relying on its effects while it is in the system. Ketamine triggers reactions in the cortex, prompting it to regrow neuronal connections.

 

The Procedure

The typical Ketamine Treatment involves administering an infusion of IV ketamine to the patient intravenously for a 40-minute period. Research and observations show that the drug has a rapid response against severe symptoms of depression, which persists even after the drug exits the symptoms.

This response rate proves ketamine’s ability to bring sustainable improvement to the patient, both immediately and over time, and relieve them from depression.

Cautions

While Ketamine is effective as an alternative treatment for depression, it is also an addictive drug and should not be used without a doctor’s supervision. Ketamine treatment also triggers some of the following responses in the body, and these are considered normal side effects of the drug:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Temporary perceptual impairment
  • Possible feelings of dissociation

However, these side effects are temporary and dissipate quickly.

 

Conclusion

IV Ketamine Treatments are an extremely effective treatment for patients suffering from severe depression who have not responded to the typical treatments. It has shown promise, and there is ongoing research to further understand exactly how ketamine changes the brain to help suppress depressive symptoms.

Dr. Handoo has performed IV ketamine treatments for hundreds of patients over the years and is a member of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians. He is in touch with leading ketamine providers across the country and is one of the most experienced ketamine psychiatrists in the region.

We are dedicated to providing the best possible assistance to patients suffering from depression and will ensure you get the best treatment possible.

Alternative Treatments for Depression–TMS and IV Ketamine Treatments

More than 264 million people around the world have depression, making it one of the most common mental health disorders. Depression has also been the leading cause of suicide among teenagers and young adults, known to disrupt the lives of patients who have it.

The more common treatments for depression are psychotherapy and antidepressants, but their inability to treat all patients led to research for alternative treatments. These researches resulted in the discovery of two successful alternate treatments for depression, more commonly known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and IV Ketamine Treatments.

However, before explaining how these two methods help treat depression, let’s first briefly explore what depression is.

Depression

Depression is one of the most common mood disorders, which leads patients to experience persistent sadness and loss of interest in routine life. In severe cases, it can seriously disrupt the patient’s ability to engage in daily tasks and functioning.

Common Symptoms

Depression can make the patient experience a range of symptoms, the most common of which are listed below:

  • Sadness and emptiness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and routine activities
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Chronic physical pain

In its most severe form, depression can also make patients suicidal, which makes it especially dangerous.

Treating Depression through TMS

TMS is an alternate treatment for depression that uses electromagnetic waves to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to alleviate symptoms of depression.

How it Works

Since depression largely impacts the amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus, treating depression through TMS involves directing electromagnetic waves towards these areas of the brain. The stimulation pushes the nerve cells in the region to help ease symptoms.

Treating Depression Through IV Ketamine Treatments

Ketamine is a notorious drug that became popular for its misuse in clubs and during parties. However, during various studies regarding mental health, researchers discovered that Ketamine effectively treats mood disorders.

How it Works

Ketamine treatment involves injecting IV ketamine into the patient during a session that lasts 40 minutes. Ketamine treatment is effective because it immediately alleviates the symptoms and blocks NMDA receptors to activate glutamate, repairing areas of the brain causing depressive symptoms. Hence, the patient does not need ketamine to always be present in the system to find relief.

Important Advice

Both these treatments are employed only when a patient does not respond to regular treatments for depression and should only be done under a certified doctor’s supervision.

Conclusion

To conclude, alternate treatments for depression like TMS and IV Ketamine Treatments have successfully  helped patients who were unable to find relief through the regular methods. They work by stimulating the dorsolateral frontal cortex of the brain as with TMS, or blocking NMDA receptors to active glutamate, as with IV ketamine treatments.

If you are suffering from depression and seeking help, please contact us and schedule a session with us.

 

Ketamine Treatments

Ketamine is something that is well-known to many. In some cases, ketamine has gotten a bad reputation. Just like any other medication, some people choose to misuse them, however, this shouldn’t outweigh the good that they can do over the bad. 

When it comes to examining ketamine, there has been a recent breakthrough that suggests that Ketamine Treatments and help with treatment-resistant depression. This is a much-welcomed breakthrough that according to Dr Thomas Insel, the former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health is “perhaps the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,”.

There have been numerous clinical trials that have shown that Ketamine can help significantly with patients who suffer from suicidal thoughts and severe depressive symptoms where another medical treatment has failed. Ketamine treatments have now been used extensively all across the United States for over the past 15 years to help with depression. 

There are currently 2 different ways to administer ketamine–IV ketamine treatments, and intranasal ketamine (Spravato), which was FDA approved in 2019.

There have been studies to show that Ketamine produces a sustained and rapid reduction in severe depression symptoms and is usually given as a single intravenous infusion over a 40 minute period. It has been shown that it helps by blocking NMDA receptors for glutamate, a different mechanism from most modern antidepressants that work on other target areas. 

When going through treatment the majority of patients recover within 30 minutes then head home, driven by a family member or friend. You can’t drive on the day of treatment. On average patients have 6 infusions, and many notice a dramatic difference after just 2-3 treatments. 

Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues and it affects 18.1% of the population every year. In the past, people did not always recognize their anxiety as a mental health issue, but in recent years, our understanding of the condition has improved a lot. If you feel that you may be suffering from anxiety, you should look into your options for anxiety treatment in Kansas City. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to spot the signs of anxiety and they don’t realize that there is an issue. These are some of the symptoms you should watch out for. 

Excessive Worrying 

It’s normal to worry about things from time to time, but if you find that you are constantly worried about small things and this stops you from concentrating on other things, you may have anxiety. Often, the worry is disproportionate and simple everyday tasks or events cause excessive worrying. 

Agitation 

Anxiety has a physical effect on the body, so you may feel very agitated. If you find it difficult to concentrate or sit still, or you have sweaty palms and a racing heart, that could be a sign that you are suffering from anxiety. 

Panic Attacks 

Panic attacks are a severe manifestation of anxiety disorder and they create an overwhelming sense of fear and panic. Panic attacks are debilitating and if you experience them, you need to look for anxiety treatment.  

Avoiding Social Situations

Social anxiety is a specific form of anxiety that leads to excessive worrying and nervousness about social situations. If you find it difficult to manage stress when you are with a group of people and this causes you to avoid social situations, you may have an anxiety disorder. 

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it is important that you seek help from anxiety treatment services.

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses

Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses facing people worldwide and for those who don’t like to take medications, it can be a battle to find something that alleviates symptoms. Sometimes people who take medications regularly as well as therapy, still find that their symptoms persist. When quality of life is diminished, it is time to make a stand. 

There are however, some modern and alternative methods of treatment that can offer hope today and one of those is TMS otherwise known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. This is an innovative approach that has been pioneered over the past few years and it is becoming a benefit form of treatment for depression. It works as a therapeutic approach to depression that uses magnetic devices to stimulate nerves in regions of the brain. It is often used when the other forms of treatment have failed. 


TMS sends a series of magnetic pulses to a patient’s brain, repeatedly over the space of a thirty minute session. It does not require anesthesia, it rarely reports any type of side effects, and the results can be felt immediately. However, most patients require a few months worth of treatment before they begin to feel a real change in their mindset. Although this treatment is only in its infancy, there is growing evidence that suggests that TMS can be beneficial and useful among a plethora of conditions, including bipolar and PTSD. It’s important for anyone suffering with long term mental health problems, to consider all options for a healthier future.

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