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Using magnetic therapy to treat depression

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On December 8th, Cone Health Behavioral Hospital will become one of the only healthcare facilities in the state that offers transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a treatment option for depression.

TMS was first approved by the FDA in 2008, and is the latest modality in the treatment for depression since the approval of fluoxetine, commonly known as Prozac.

TMS is a therapy that works by stimulating areas of the brain that are underactive in patients with severe depression.

The treatment is given at least five times a week over the course of six weeks, and patients usually begin showing a response to the therapy after about 20 to 25 sessions.

Because TMS is a non-invasive, non-systemic treatment, patients do not experience the side effects that are commonly associated with other anti-depressant medications.

TMS is an effective option for depressed patients who have not benefited from prior forms of treatment, and/or patients who cannot tolerate oral anti-depressant medications.

Research has shown that more than 65 percent of patients who receive the therapy respond in a positive way, and the majority of them are able to reduce or eliminate the amount of additional medications they take to treat their depression.

Spokesperson Background:
Eric Kaplan is a registered nurse and certified transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) operator at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital.

Kaplan also serves as the administrative coordinator at the hospital. He received a Bachelor of Science in sports medicine from Guilford College in 2001 and received an Associate Degree in nursing from GTCC in 2005.

He will begin attending Winston Salem State University in January 2015 to earn his Bachelor of Science in nursing.