Magnetic Depression Therapy

POSTED: Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 8:38am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:59pm

For three years, Karen Day searched for a treatment that would help with her depression.

"I didn't feel well, it was a very physical thing," Day said. Medications caused unbearable side effects so her general physician recommended she look into transcranial magnetic stimulation.

"Basically it delivers a magnetic pulse or excitement to turn on neuronal activity in the brain related to depression," Dr. Louis Costello, a psychiatrist, said. Karen underwent 37 minutes of treatment five days a week for six weeks.

"I picked up pretty quick that I was reaping some benefit in just the way I felt. I was just starting to feel better. I call it my effervescent feeling," Day said. Dr. Louis Costello says the outpatient procedure is a revolutionary advancement in depression treatment because there are virtually no side effects.

Karen says the treatment gave her back a zest for life, "I'm feeling really good." People who cannot undergo an MRI will not qualify for TMS therapy. The procedure costs about 7 to 10 thousand dollars for a course of treatment and that cost may or may not be covered by your insurance.