For most people suffering with major depressive disorder, treatment with medications and psychotherapy usually eases their symptoms. When symptoms do not improve, patients may be diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is an FDA-approved therapy used for individuals who have treatment-resistant depression.
TMS is a therapy option when antidepressant medications have failed or when the side effects of medications are intolerable.
TMS uses a focused electromagnet to stimulate underactive cells in a targeted area of the brain called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The magnetic pulses generate an electrical current that raises brain activity back to normal levels.
Peter Clagnaz, MD, a psychiatrist at UF Health Jacksonville and medical director of the Brain Stimulation and Treatment-Resistant Depression Program, started offering TMS as a therapy option to patients in fall 2021 at UF Health Jacksonville.
“The doctor-patient relationship is very important,” Clagnaz said. “It’s critical having a trusting, kind, authoritative person with whom you can share information and make decisions together.”
Clagnaz and UF Health Jacksonville psychiatrist Daniel Lewis, MD, have seen patients feel significant relief from their depression, and some even have full remission of their depressive symptoms after treatment.