Can a helmet treat depression better than medication?
Unfortunately, millions of Americans suffer from treatment resistant depression (TRD). In other words, they have experienced at least 2 failed trials of antidepressants. According to the Star*D data, by the time a patient enters their third round of an antidepressant trial, the remission rate at that step can be as low as 16%. However, with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and especially with deep TMS, the remission rate in the international multi-site study cites a remission rate of 1/3. In addition, in real life settings, some practices have remission rates as high as 50%.
Many patients describe the procedure as feeling as if there is a tapping sensation on the head. Almost all patients are able to comfortably complete a full course of treatment. It is still not a treatment that is widely known by patients and healthcare providers, but it is FDA approved. In addition, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) includes TMS as a recommended line of treatment in their consensus guidelines for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).