For the second time this year, an episode of the “Dr. Oz Show” has introduced viewers to one of the more “unconventional” methods used to treat depression. Wednesday’s show featured a segment on a therapy called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
While Dr. Oz called TMS therapy “controversial and unorthodox," he also said it was "revolutionary.”
“I believe this could be an effective treatment,” he said, later asking why “every psychiatrist in the country” is not thinking about this for their patients.
You can watch the segment from the show here.
Dr. Oz welcomed expert guest Tarique Perera, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, to demonstrate the technique using the NeuroStar TMS system, a device made by Neuronetics and approved by the FDA in 2008.
The audience then got a simple explanation of how TMS works. Essentially, it delivers highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in an area of the brain linked to depression. According to Perera, the therapy offers “the first biological treatment” for depression.
“We are able to treat the brain just like you would treat the heart,” he said. “It’s a paradigm shift in psychiatry.”
Across the country, more facilities are giving their patients a chance to try TMS. Last year, we reported on a few dedicated facilities, including examples on the West Coast in Los Angeles and San Francisco, plus another in Tyson's Corner, Va.
To a lesser extent, community mental health centers (like this one in New Hampshire) have also decided to make the investment.
What do you think? Did Dr. Oz present an accurate picture of what TMS can do? If you have had experience with TMS therapy, let us know what your impressions have been so far.