Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Take A Few Minutes And Learn About The Depression Treating Helmet

Look what the dog found in the garage!
How many helmets do you have around your home?


Our associate was organizing his garage this past weekend and suddenly realized that over the years his family has accumulated a lot of helmets - bike helmets, a hockey helmet, a ski helmet, a football helmet, rock climbing helmets, a baseball batting helmet, even a pretty old construction helmet was still in the garage closet. Of course, all of these helmets serve a purpose, if no other than to make a parent feel more at ease when their child (young or old) ventures out for a sporting activity. The goal, of course, is to prevent traumatic brain injury and ultimately save a life.

A depression treating helmet makes headlines at the APA Annual Meeting


In early May 2014, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) gathered for the 167th Annual Meeting. This year's theme was Changing The Practice and Perception of Psychiatry.

Much research is being conducted in a treatment area called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of TMS for the treatment of depression in 2008.  It should be noted that TMS uses magnets not electrical currents like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Attendees were able to learn more about TMS and various delivery systems. According to a TIME Magazine article published May 13, 2014:

The researchers, led by Dr. Mark Demitrack, the chief medical officer of Neuronetics, Inc. and Dr. Kit Simpson of Medical University of South Carolina, studied 306 patients with major depressive disorder who were treated with a TMS device called the NeuroStar TMS Therapy®. (Neurostar was the first TMS therapy on the market, and in 2013, the FDA approved another TMS device called Brainsway.) After one year, people who received six weeks of daily TMS, which targeted the mood regions of the brain, 53% reported no or mild depression. After a comparable period of time, only 38% of people on antidepressants reported the same benefit.

So what does the dTMS helmet look like?


Here is a video produced by Brainsway which gives you some idea of how the treatment is administered.



If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

According to an article published by the Wall Street Daily, the depression helmet is being tested to treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. We will continue to follow this story.
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