Using magnetic forces to battle depression - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Using magnetic forces to battle depression

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More than 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression. For some of them, antidepressants don’t always work. Psychiatrist Dr. Kevin McPherson of Columbus is treating patients with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS. It works by applying a magnetic field to an area of the brain that’s been shown to be less active in depression.

Elizabeth Welty completed the therapy almost a year ago and says she’s no longer depressed.

“I laugh all the time, I mean life is so much better it’s so wonderful to be able to wake up and not be sad,” said Welty.

“If you remember high school physics, magnetic fields in motion induce an electrical current and what this does is this makes the magnetic field move and it then induces an electrical current in that part of the brain. The main outcome though is that people who have been depressed for 5, 10 or even 20 years. After this treatment they’re not depressed anymore,” said Dr. McPherson.

TMS is applied daily for six weeks. Each session costs about 300 dollars. Some insurance companies will cover, but not many.

Teresa Whitaker

In addition to co-anchoring the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights, Teresa serves as the Healthwatch reporter for WRBL. More>>

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