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Is Tms Approved For Bipolar

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Clinical Experience With Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

The maintenance effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation , a technology designed to modulate cortical excitability, are currently being investigated. “The potential is very exciting since rTMS has the potential to translate what we are learning about the neural circuit basis of depression and other disorders into circuit-guided treatments,” reported Sarah Hollingsworth Lisanby, MD, director of the translational research division at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in an interview with Psychiatry Advisor. Prior to her 2015 appointment, Dr Lisanby founded the division of brain stimulation at Columbia University, New York, and led the division of brain stimulation and therapeutic modulation at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “Patients often seek TMS when other treatments have failed, so often they are chronic and treatment-resistant. TMS has shown some efficacy in patients who have failed to respond to other treatments,” she said.

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

Even people with the most severe form of bipolar disorder can find effective treatments for their symptoms. Typical treatment plans usually include a combination of medication and psychotherapy. While Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, episodes of mania and depression can become less frequent and less severe with treatment.  However, lingering symptoms may continue without long-term, continuous support.

Who Will Benefit The Most

Existing evidence to date suggests that patients who are less treatment-resistant respond better to rTMS than those who are highly treatment-resistant. However, there is much yet to be learned about particular variables that may impact response to rTMS. Researchers are presently conducting clinical studies to evaluate who will benefit most from rTMS therapy. For example, there is a lot of interest in evaluating whether rTMS with antidepressant medications is more effective than rTMS alone.

Traditional Treatment Vs Tms Treatment

Traditional medicinal treatments for bipolar disorders use a combination of drugs:

  • Mood Stabilizers — lithium being the most popular, are decently effective, safe in low doses, and affordable. They help control the sparks of manic episodes.
  • Antipsychotics — are also useful for manic episodes. When combined with antidepressants, they can increase the efficiency of antidepressants and mood stabilizers. They reduce symptoms of delusions and hallucinations.
  • Antidepressants — are used for depressive episodes but typically take weeks to affect mood-altering chemicals in the brain.
  • Benzodiazepines — such as Xanax, treat depression anxiety and typically used short term as needed.

These antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood-stabilizing medications are often ineffective, and many patients dislike the side effects. There are many different types of each. Patients with bipolar disorder particularly try many before finding one that works for them . Some report unwanted changes in personality and mental numbness.

A report by Psychiatric Times states that medications used for bipolar disorder are roughly only 50% effective in reducing symptoms.

Contrary, TMS treatment for bipolar disorder has nearly no side effects besides rarely reported comfort issues during treatment. TMS therapy in San Diego has been proven safe in controlled trials. TMS relies on magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain to self-balance chemicals, so there are no systemic side effects.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation : Hope For Stubborn Depression

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Can Bring Relief ...

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15 to 44. While there are many effective treatments for depression, first-line approaches such as antidepressants and psychotherapy do not work for everyone. In fact, approximately two-thirds of people with depression don’t get adequate relief from the first antidepressant they try. After two months of treatment, at least some symptoms will remain for these individuals, and each subsequent medication tried is actually less likely to help than the one prior.

What can people with depression do when they do not respond to first-line treatments? For several decades, electroconvulsive therapy was the gold standard for treatment-resistant depression. In fact, ECT is still considered to be the most potent and effective treatment for this condition, and it continues to be used regularly across the country. For many people with depression, however, ECT can be too difficult to tolerate due to side effects on memory and cognition. For those individuals and the many others who have had an inadequate response to medications and therapy alone, there is a newer treatment option called transcranial magnetic stimulation .

Fda Grants Tms Device Breakthrough Designation For Bipolar Depression

Megan Brooks

March 06, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough device designation for NeuroStar Advanced Therapy transcranial magnetic stimulation system for the treatment of bipolar depression.

In 2008, NeuroStar Advanced Therapy System became the first TMS device to receive FDA clearance for adults with drug-resistant major depressive disorder . 

In 2017, the FDA cleared a next-generation NeuroStar Advanced Therapy device, as by Medscape Medical News.

NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is a noninvasive form of neuromodulation that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive in . It is now the first TMS device to receive breakthrough designation for drug-resistant bipolar depression in adults with bipolar I or bipolar II disorders, the company said in a news release.

Bipolar disorder causes recurrent, dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. The disorder affects about 6.5 to 7 million adults annually in the US.

The FDA’s breakthrough device program is intended to help patients and healthcare providers receive more timely access to breakthrough technologies that have the potential to provide more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.

Breakthrough designation opens an expedited pathway for prioritized FDA review of the NeuroStar Advanced Therapy clinical trial program. Neuronetics has submitted initial clinical plans for discussion with the FDA.

Tms For Bipolar Depression: The Research

  • A 2018 Study

This study looked at 43 patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression. Researchers applied 20 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or sham TMS in a  double-blind, randomized controlled trial.

Bipolar depression features a range of cognitive deficits. The researchers wanted to see if cognition would improve following TMS treatment. The results showed that all cognitive domains improved, including:

  • Attention and processing speed
  • Working memory and executive function

Depressive symptoms also improved. highlights that TMS can reduce the symptoms of depression.

  • A 2011 study

Researchers treated bipolar patients with deep transcranial magnetic stimulation . This involved targeting deep areas of the brain with magnetic stimulation. Researchers found that TMS was more effective than sham TMS at relieving patients of their symptoms.

  • A 2016 report

This study described bipolar disorder patients who had successful remission of their symptoms after TMS.

  • A 2017 meta-analysis

This study showed that bipolar patients respond well to rTMS as maintenance therapy.

  • A small observational study from 2013

This study showed that TMS could help some bipolar disorder patients achieve full remission. These were patients who didn’t have relief from any other treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy .

Personalized Tms For Bipolar Disorder

A competent team at a TMS clinic will evaluate changes in energy levels, sleep, motivation, and mood on a daily basis. At our clinic, we make a special note if someone has a previous bipolar diagnosis, and we pay close attention to our treatment parameters. For instance, we may lower the stimulation level, adjust the number of pulses per session, or even use a more relaxing protocol on a different part of the brain entirely. A center that cannot adjust their protocol based on individual responses will pose a higher risk to someone with bipolar depression. We almost always end up treating bipolar patients with a bilateral TMS protocol.

Want To Beat Depression For Yourself Or A Friend

W. Nate Upshaw, MD

Dr. William Nathan Upshaw is the Medical Director of NeuroSpa TMS®. Since receiving training from the inventor of TMS Therapy nearly a decade ago, Dr. Upshaw has been a pioneer, champion and outspoken advocate of TMS Therapy. Dr. Upshaw’s holistic experience in the field has transformed him into Florida’s leading advocate for widespread accessibility to TMS Therapy.

About Dr. Upshaw

Bipolar disorder is a common, serious psychological disorder experienced by about 6 million American adults every year. Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder has two groups of symptoms: mania and depression.  In between these poles, or phases of bipolar disorder, people typically have a normal mood . Depression in bipolar disorder is the same as that experienced by people with major depression. It’s the manic phase that differentiates bipolar disorder from major depression

Bipolar Disorder: The Highs and the Lows

For a diagnosis of bipolar disorder to be made, a person must have significant symptoms of depression that have at least once alternated with a condition called mania, or its milder form, hypomania. A person doesn’t have to have alternating cycles of depression and mania, although some people do. Just one manic episode is enough for a mental health professional to diagnose bipolar I disorder, also called bipolar type I.

Symptoms of Bipolar Mania

Other symptoms of mania include:


Symptoms of Bipolar Depression





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How Long Is An Rtms Procedure

rTMS therapy involves a series of treatment sessions. Treatment sessions vary in length depending on the TMS coil used and the number of pulses delivered but typically last around 30 – 40 minutes. Patients receive TMS 5 days a week. A typical course of rTMS is 4 to 6 weeks. However, this can vary depending on an individual’s response to treatment.

Can Tms Improve Other Therapy Outcomes

Experts are hopeful this non-pharmaceutical treatment will soon become widely available. “With bipolar disorder, people often benefit from a combination of treatments,” says Alexandra Gold, a researcher in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University. “One thing that’s really exciting about magnetic stimulation is that by relieving depression symptoms, it may make it easier for people to experience the maximum benefits of other treatments, such as psychotherapy.” More research needs to be done to learn if TMS ups efficacy of bipolar meds as well.

The Fda Approval Process

After analyzing the results of clinical trials, the FDA will typically first approve a medicine or a device for a specific and narrow focus called an “indication.” In the case of the first TMS machines, the approved indication was major depressive disorder. After that first approval has been granted, another trial or series of trials may be conducted to broaden the approved application of the device or medication to include other indications. Since TMS’s initial approval as a major depression treatment, a variety of TMS machines have gained FDA approval for the treatment of other mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. TMS machine manufacturers are currently conducting further studies into still other applications, including postpartum depression. So, while TMS is FDA approved for a broad range of depression and anxiety-related disorders already, there is a good chance that this technology still has a great deal more to offer. Clinical trials will continue, and as the results of these trials are published, it is plausible that TMS will be FDA approved for more and more psychological disorders. 

Neurotransmitters Like Norepinephrine Evaluate And Negotiate Neural Equilibrium

Deep TMS Therapy

The general consensus is that bipolar disorder originates in chemical imbalances in the brain. The human brain is separated into distinct areas and structures that are responsible for different things. In order for these different sections and structures to speak to each other they have to use electricity and neurotransmitters. The most common neurotransmitters the brain produces are Acetylcholine, Dopamine Glutamate, Serotonin, Norepinephrine and gamma-Aminobutyric acid . 

Although evidence shows that an imbalance of any neurotransmitter can cause bipolar symptoms, . Norepinephrine functions as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Because of this norepinephrine has long reaching consequences when it is under or over produced. Episodes of mania may occur when norepinephrine production is higher than it should be and depressive episodes may occur when norepinephrine levels are too low. Evidence also suggests that serotonin plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of the disorder.

Because of this, doctors have found it difficult to treat bipolar disorder. Oftentimes the same antidepressants that are given to treat the depressive episodes of the disorder, have the potential to increase the manic swing that the patients experience. Antidepressants have been shown to be helpful in treating depression symptoms short term for the disorder but can increase the risk of manic switches in mood over the long term.

Does Tms Therapy Help With Bipolar Disorder

The short answer is; Yes. To be more specific; TMS therapy can help bipolar disorder during a depressive episode that is resistant to medications and psychotherapy. In open-label studies, the response rate for bipolar depression is comparable to that of unipolar depression. A double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, sham-controlledclinical trialpublished in 2017 evaluated 43 patients randomized into two groups to evaluate the effect of dTMS for treating bipolar depression. The group receiving the actual dTMS had a higher response than the group receiving a sham

Ameta analysispublished in 2019 concluded that clinical trials of TMS for BD particularly suggest the potential of repetitive TMS for reducing depressive symptoms. Studies of TMS for mania have yielded more mixed findings.

In March of 2020, thefor TMS for Bipolar Depression. The breakthrough designation is a process that will expedite the FDA review of the clinical trial program evaluating TMS for bipolar disorder. If TMS therapy is approved for bipolar depression, it could provide an option for those patients who do not respond to medications.

What Is Iv Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine has been used safely as an anesthetic on battlefields and in operating rooms for over 50 years. Significant evidence has shown that ketamine, when administered at much lower doses, is also a safe and effective treatment for many chronic physical and psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression and bipolar depression.

Neuro Wellness Spa patient, Shannon Hennessey, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after years of suffering through the symptoms. Now, she’s dedicated her life to mental health education, advocacy and support. We spoke with Shannon about her personal experience with IV ketamine therapy for bipolar disorder at Neuro Wellness Spa, read her story here.

IV ketamine can relieve depressive symptoms within an hour, even in patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression. Research has shown that IV ketamine results in an almost immediate acute antidepressant response in patients who are in the depressed phase of bipolar I and II disorder. This study, along with a growing number of others, is a major finding that demonstrates the effectiveness of IV ketamine for those who have tried standard treatments but haven’t responded adequately.

Our Experience Treating Bipolar Depression With Tms

While TMS isn’t yet FDA approved for bipolar disorder, we have noticed in our offices that individuals with bipolar depression have better response rates than individuals with unipolar depression. There haven’t been any large-scale studies that show this yet, but we think this is because the brain of a bipolar individual has more flexibility in terms of switching between states , and as such, can shift from depression to feeling better more easily. However, if a center had machines that didn’t allow for a personalized approach, we would be concerned about both the safety and efficacy of treatment.

What Is Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

TMS therapy may be used to treat depressive episodes when medications and psychotherapies are inadequate. TMS is noninvasive and cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. During TMS, you wear a helmet-like device that delivers brief magnetic pulses to your brain. The energy pulses stimulate specific neural pathways to heal depression in the brain.

TMS has no major side effects, apart from potential headaches or scalp discomfort, and is proven effective in clinical studies. Care will be taken not to induce a manic episode. You don’t have to stop taking medication to undergo TMS, so there is no period of worsening symptoms due to being off your medication.

If you have bipolar depression, don’t suffer alone. Contact Houston West TMS by phone or request a consultation online to get support and help for your condition.

Tms In Bipolar Depression

More recently, a modified rTMS approach known as theta burst stimulation has been applied to bipolar depression. Data suggest that TBS may exert faster, stronger, and more sustained effects than traditional rTMS protocols . Beynel and colleagues evaluated three weeks of randomly assigned daily intermittent TBS or sham treatment in patients with bipolar depression . This study incorporated an antisaccade  task which was completed on the first day of each week before and after iTBS treatment. Patients were placed in a dark room in front of a computer screen and asked to fix their attention on a dot in the center of the screen. During AS trials, patients were instructed to look in specific directions upon exposure to different colored cues. At post?treatment, patients receiving the active iTBS demonstrated improvements in depressed mood with mood improvements correlated with antisaccade task performance; a finding that reflects the potential of the task to be used as a metric of response to TMS treatment. Collectively, data on enhancements to traditional rTMS protocols are promising and reflect future avenues for research.

Benefits Of Tms For Bipolar Disorder

While putting magnets near your brain to help treat a mental illness sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, the results are fairly promising . As we discussed earlier, TMS is both non-invasive and a fairly successful way of treating unipolar depression. So, what about using TMS to treat bipolar disorder?

The literature regarding TMS treatment for bipolar disorder is still fairly limited at this time. However, the research we do have has shown that TMS as a treatment for bipolar disorder could be a promising option in future, especially for bipolar depression.

Some studies have found that during depressive episodes, TMS works well in conjunction with other forms of medication and treatment, both during an acute depressive episode and as a treatment promoting maintenance.

However, the evidence regarding its efficacy on its own or as a treatment during a manic episode is conflicted at best. This may be due to limitations in methodologies of current studies, which is why further research is required to more accurately determine the overall effects and potential benefits of TMS as a treatment method for bipolar disorder.

With all this being said, with further research, TMS could prove to be a promising treatment option in future — especially for depressive episodes.

Brain Centers San Diego Tms Bipolar Treatment

Brain Center’s TMS treatment center in San Diego offers the latest in TMS therapy for Bipolar Disorder. Our San Diego Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center uses the Theta Burst Express TMS machine.

There are many different advantages of using 20 Hz theta bursts over more common TMS systems:

  • Theta Burst TMS has over a 70% remission rate, meaning nearly ¾ of people see complete loss of symptoms. Higher than competing TMS machines and even electroconvulsive therapy.
  • Sessions are less than five minutes long, whereas competitors have 30-40 minute treatments.
  • Effective treatments typically have better long term symptom reduction than other TMS procedures.

If you’ve been struggling with a bipolar disorder and have been unable to find successful treatment through medication and talk therapies, give our San Diego bipolar TMS treatment a try.

Brain Center’s TMS treatment facility is now on board with most insurance providers besides Medi-Cal. We also have easy financing options for all who wish to try our San Diego TMS. We accept cash, checks, bank transfers, and credit card payments.

If you’d like to learn more about our the treatment process, please visit our TMS Procedure page.

Manipulated Magnetic Fields Manipulated Production Of Neurotransmitters

Integrated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (iTMS)

Recent research has concluded that Transcranial magnetic stimulation shows promise as an approach to treating patients with bipolar disorder or manic depressive disorder. In particular the treatment shows promise for those who have failed to respond to the typical treatment of pharmacology or psychotherapy. However, there is some scientific hesitation. TMS has been shown to be an incredible treatment for depression. So while it seems that TMS may naturally be a great treatment for bipolar, it is a little bit more complex. 

Since bipolar is really functioning as two separate disorders at the same time . Bipolar individuals suffer from both depression and mania. As such a treatment that is effective for depression is only effective for half of the disorder. In fact some doctors are concerned that the application of magnetic waves to parts of a depressed bipolar person’s brain may actually overstimulate it and cause a switch into a manic state. This is not surprising as psychopharmacology has also shown a tendency to trigger a manic switch in the bipolar individual.

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What Happens During An Rtms Procedure

Because rTMS uses magnetic pulses, before beginning a treatment, patients are asked to remove any magnetic-sensitive objects . Patients are required to wear earplugs during treatment for their comfort and hearing protection, as rTMS produces a loud clicking sound with each pulse, much like an MRI machine. Patients are seated during each session of rTMS. 

During the first rTMS session, several measurements are made to ensure that the TMS coil will be properly positioned over the patient’s head. Once this is done, the TMS coil is suspended over the patient’s scalp. The TMS physician then measures the patient’s motor threshold, by administering several brief pulses. The motor threshold is the minimum amount of power necessary to make the patient’s thumb twitch, and varies from individual to individual. Measuring the motor threshold helps the physician personalize the treatment settings and determine the amount of energy required to stimulate brain cells.

Once the motor threshold is determined, the coil is then brought forward so that it rests above the front region of the patient’s brain. Treatment is then commenced.  During the treatment, patients will hear a series of clicking sounds and will feel a tapping sensation under the treatment coil.

Motor threshold is not checked at every treatment but may be reassessed if there is concern it may have changed, for example, because of a change in medication.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Depression

When you’re suffering a depressive episode related to bipolar disorder, it can make it difficult for you to do the things you need or want to do. You just don’t feel like yourself.

Seek support if you’re feeling depressed or loved ones comment on your condition. Signs that you’re in a depressive phase include:

  • Feelings of sadness, worry, or emptiness
  • Having little to no energy
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feeling like you can’t enjoy anything or get motivated
  • Having a hard time getting out of bed
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Having trouble focusing or remembering things
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Contemplating suicide or death

Bipolar depression may present with some or all of these symptoms. Usually, you experience down feelings for a long time — two weeks or more. Episodes of bipolar depression can strike rarely, or several times a year.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Ineffective For People With Bipolar Disorder

A new study finds that transcranial magnetic stimulation was no better than placebo for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

A new study tested transcranial magnetic stimulation for treating people with a bipolar disorder diagnosis. The researchers found that actual TMS was no better than a sham treatment.

The study was led by Lakshmi N. Yatham at the University of British Columbia Hospital in Canada and published in JAMA Network Open.

The specific type of intervention used is intermittent theta-burst stimulation , a type of TMS. The researchers targeted the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the brain. The goal was to relieve depression symptoms in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

iTBS was used, and the LDPC was targeted because these are currently popular TMS methods in depression treatment. Yatham writes:

“There was no evidence of antidepressant superiority for active iTBS over sham iTBS, and safety is uncertain because 1 hypomanic switch occurred with active iTBS and a second occurred during the open-label phase.”

That is, people randomly assigned to the fake treatment did just as well as people who received actual iTBS. Additionally, two people undergoing actual iTBS became hypomanic—compared with none who were receiving the sham treatment.

People who had previously had no response to TMS were excluded, as were people who were suicidal, experiencing psychosis or substance abuse, or undergoing psychotherapy.



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