Magnetic therapy helping depression patients

9:14 PM, Jun 2, 2011   |    comments
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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Depression is a disease that affects an estimated 19 million Americans. But for many people suffering from it, medication just dosen't work. Now there is a new FDA approved treatment available in Maine that is giving new hope to patients.

Melanie Wright first experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety when she was 18 years old. A condition that has gotten worse for this mother of two boys.

"I had issues with eating, not eating enough or not wanting to eat things, not having a present relationship with my kids or my husband,' said Wright. "

Wright doses of medication gave her some relief, but she didn't like the side effects. Now thanks to a new one of it's kind treatment wright is getting her life back.

It's called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation TMS. A technician places a magnet about the size of a hockey puck over the left front part of Wright's brain. Electricity is then pulsed through the magnet to the brain.

That pulse is charging up neurons which then get the neurotransmitters changing and that change the system of the brain. The foundational system of the brain if you will is healing and restructuring, said Dr. Carole Orem-Hough a psychologist, who runs TMS Centers of Maine.

Dr. Orem-Hough invested nearly 90-thousand dollars to bring the magnetic therapy to Maine. Patients must undergo more than 30 minutes of treatment five times a week for six weeks. wright says after a couple of weeks -- her anxiety decreased.

'I see life as so hopeful, I see it so differently. It's hard to describe, said Wright.

Dr. Orem-Hough cautions that TMS is not a cure and it doesn't replace medicine or therapy, it is designed to work with them.

Wright is now only taking an anti-depressant and hopes that with the help of TMS, the pain and the medication that goes with it will soon be part of her past.

Side effects of TMS treatment include scalp discomfort and headaches. A six-week TMS treatment can cost ten-thousand dollars. But a number of insurance companies cover some of the costs on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to know more about TMS you can go to or the manufacturer's website

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