Depression can take on many different forms, depending on the severity of the case. In extreme cases, people may find it difficult to get out of bed, let alone carry on everyday activities, despite medications or therapy.
For those who are experiencing severe depression, Pinnacle Behavioral Health in Albany offers Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – a treatment that has shown great promise at select clinics across the United States.
“There’s an 80 percent response rate, and of those 80 percent, 51 percent go into full remission,” said Rocco Pezzulo, Pinnacle’s director of operations.
TMS is non invasive and does not utilize medications. Instead, an electromagnetic coil is placed on the head where the left prefrontal cortex – the portion of the brain that experiences depression – is located. Magnetic waves are then sent into the brain to stimulate the left prefrontal cortex and alleviate the depressive feelings.
“It gets the brain back on line, if you will,” said Pezzulo.
Each session takes 20-30 minutes to complete, and sessions are typically scheduled on a daily basis for 4-6 weeks. Patients are usually able to conduct daily activities without any interruption while participating in TMS.
TMS was approved as a depression treatment by the FDA in 2008. It took four years before the treatment was made public, and even then, only a handful of clinics offered it. Pezzulo said he visited several clinics across the country before deciding to add TMS to Pinnacle Behavioral Health’s list of services.
“Every doctor I went to said if you don’t get TMS, it would be a crime,” said Pezzulo.
Since adding TMS in February, Pezzulo said he’s seen results in the patients that have gone through the treatment.
“We’re seeing amazing improvements, and these are patients who are dealing with serious depression,” he said. “These are people who have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. They haven’t updated their resumes. They’re not actively seeking employment. Now, they want to get their resumes together. They want to find full-time employment.”
TMS is not for everybody. Pezzulo said patients must be approved by their health insurers and prove that medications and therapy have not worked before they can try TMS.
“TMS is the final step after prescriptions and therapy,” said Pezzulo.
TMS is one of several innovative treatments offered by Pinnacle Behavioral Health. The practice also offers yoga, tai chi, art and music groups, as well as group discussions alongside traditional therapy.
“We know one size doesn’t fit all,” said Pezzulo. “There’s a lot of factors when people go into therapy.”
Pinnacle Behavioral Health is located at 10 McKown Road, Suite 102, in Albany. For more information, call 518-689-0244 or visit www.pinnaclebehavioralhealth.com.