New Treatment For Patients With Major Depression

TMS Therapy Is Non-Invasive, Targets Specific Area Of Brain

More than 19 million Americans suffer from some form of depression.

While most are on a combination of medications and therapies, now there's a new option that's non-invasive and leaves patients with no side effects.

It's called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy.

"It's a system that applies the changing electromagnetic current to the left side of the brain," said Dr. Daniela Stamatoiu, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Neurostar machine in 2008 to help treat patients who suffer from major depression, like Shelli Brockman.

"I've been depressed since I was a little girl," said Brockman.

Brockman has been taking anti-depressants for more than 30 years. Even with therapy, she said she never really found the perfect solution to treat her depression.

"I had postpartum depression when I was 24, after having my first child," said Brockman. "I have lost two children which adds grief to the depression."

Here's how TMS therapy works. A patient sits in a high-tech chair while a small magnetic coil on the scalp targets the specific part of the brain. A full treatment will last four to six weeks. The sessions are 40 minutes long, five times a week.

"I nicknamed the machine Woody," said Brockman. "It taps on the left side of your head."

Brockman said you feel it, but it doesn't hurt and you get used to it.

"The option we have really allows for a much better outcome," said Stamatoiu.

After a full six-week treatment, Brockman said on a scale of one to ten, she's now feeling a high six or seven. She plans to have maintenance treatment along with seeing a therapist to reach to a level 10.

A full treatment of TMS will cost between $8,000 to $12,000. Insurance should cover some of it, but you'll want to check.

For more information on TMS, go to You can also reach Stamatoiu at

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