Brain stimulation improves depression symptoms - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Brain stimulation improves depression symptoms

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RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

"I've been sick since I was about 15 and I'm 37 now, so it's been a long road."

Larisa Womack has spent her entire adult life suffering in a sea depression; in a bubble she says while the world turns around you.

"You can't get out of the bed, you don't want to answer the phone. I totally isolate myself." But for the past year Larisa's quality of life has improved greatly because of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS.

Magnetic stimulation, TMS, is an FDA approved therapy for depression."It creates an electro-magnetic field and slowly stimulates the brain cells in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the area that houses emotions," said Psychiatrist Dr. Parveen Kumar at the Mississippi Depression Hope Center in Ridgeland.

Dr. Kumar says the brain is an electrical circuit. "The electrical connections are not there and we are re-establishing those electric connections."

The course of treatment is generally six weeks. "50% of patients, they have a remission after the procedure is completed in mild to moderate depression. The results are even better than medication. Remission means the patient will never require treatment again," Dr. Kumar said.

"Nothing has ever done that for me. Not medicines. Not hospitals. Therapy. The ECT. (Shock Therapy) Nothing has been that easy," Larisa said. And for the first time in her life, TMS has given Larisa a future without depression.

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