Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine SP 15

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Combating Depression with a New Tool A rea residents fighting depression have a new non-invasive treat- ment option, thanks to state-of-the-art technology implemented by Carmel Neuroscience. Dr. Dean Germer brought transcranial magnet- ic stimulation (TMS) equipment to his Ryan Ranch clinic last fall; he is the only one on the Monterey Peninsula offering the therapy. Though it carries a somewhat daunting title, Dr. Germer says that TMS involves a straightforward process. After settling into a reclining chair, patients are outfitted with earplugs and a small headset containing a coil. The device produces magnetic impulses, similar to those from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, that activate areas of the brain associated with mood regulation. "It's specifically aimed at people who cannot tolerate or have not benefitted from tradition- al psychiatric treatments for depression," Dr. Germer says. "It's another method for treating a very common illness." Treatments are administered five times a week for 37 minutes per session, and a typical course of therapy lasts four to six weeks. Most patients can drive home and resume normal activities after a treatment. Available to individu- als ages 18 and up, TMS is often used together with medication or talk therapy. Dr. Germer, who focuses on patients over the age of 50, finds TMS especially helpful for older individuals whose medications interfere with anti-depressants. The length of impact varies by patient. "Research indicates that people can remain symptom-free for up to five years or more," says Dr. Germer. "However, within six months or so, some people require a re-treatment that might be five to 10 sessions and gets them back on their way to another symptom-free interval." Some of Dr. Germer's TMS patients see results within just two weeks. "After four to six weeks," he adds, "they often will either say that they have completely resolved depression symptoms—that the gray cloud has gone away—or that they've seen at least a significant improvement." For information on Carmel Neuroscience's services, visit www.carmelneuro- or call 831/241-6796. —Renee Brincks SHORTCUTS HEALTH 72 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is now offered in Ryan Ranch for patients affected by depression. The non-surgical, non-medicated treatment choice takes five times a week for about six weeks, with magnetic pulses aimed at mood regulation. Photo: Kelli Uldall

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