New device helps treat depression

A revolutionary new treatment for depression is making strides right here in Lincoln.  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also known as TMS helps the brain produce natural feel–good chemicals.  And over a period of time, the treatment is helping cure years of depression.

That's the sound of the Neurostar TMS machine stimulating Teresa Clark's brain. Clark turned to TMS therapy after her antidepressant medications began to have little effect. She says after 10 sessions, something *clicked* and she's never felt this good in 20 years.

“Its like a light switch, I woke up the next morning and my whole world, everything just changed, for the better absolutely!” Clark said.

For others, the process is more gradual.  Before therapy, Kim Essman says she spent 20 years living in a cloud of depression.  Acting out of desperation, she says the TMS treatment has given her hope and a restored interest in life.  She says she'll never forget the first sign of recovery.

“I walked by somebody at work and they said 'hi' and I said 'hi!' real loud, like, where'd that come from? and so that really stuck with me,” Essman said.

Doctor Walt Duffy with Premier Psychiatric group says the TMS method has proven very effective in his practice, 70 percent of patients have noticeable results.  The treatment, which was approved by the FDA in 2008, sends 3,000 pulses to the brain over a 40 minute session.

And for Duffy, seeing the patient's life change is a reward all its own. “It's very gratifying to see somebody's life sort of change in a way they interact with others, how they're feeling their zest for life…if they're feeling better, anybody else they interact with, family, work and stuff, things are going better,” Duffy said.

TMS treatment is prescribed only when anti–depressants haven't shown results in patients. Duffy says improvements can be seen in two weeks and many insurance providers cover some of the costs.

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