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ScienceDaily (Oct. 19, 2010) — John O’Sullivan had struggled with bipolar depression since he was a teen. He has tried numerous types of psychotherapy and medication but nothing seemed to help for long.

A salesman whose profession required the constant projection of a positive, upbeat image to be successful, O’Sullivan found that his condition frequently left him feeling listless and restless. He switched jobs often and had difficulties in his family life.

“When you’re in a maniacal state with bipolar, it’s not like you’re often happy. You’re irritable and hard to live with,” said O’Sullivan, a husband and father of five. “That’s been tough on the family.”

At age 50 and desperate, O’Sullivan was cautiously intrigued when his Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist, Dr. Murali S. Rao, told him about a new high-tech, non-invasive therapy that uses magnetic waves to treat his condition.

“My first thought was, ‘What is this?'” said O’Sullivan, a resident of Downers Grove, Ill. “But, really, I was open-minded to it because I was desperate for anything that would work quicker and more effectively.”

Known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the treatment delivers a series of electrical pulses to the part of the brain associated with depression and other mood disorders. The pulses generate an electric current in the brain that stimulates neurons to increase the release of more mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

“The electrical pulses target the nerve cells in the region of the brain called the left prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain that regulates our moods,” said Rao, chairman of Loyola’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Services.

Read in Full:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018165836.htm

 Local entrepreneur Curtis Graves stands with his daughter Tammy VanDell, who is bipolar and has experienced severe depression. Since she began NeuroStar TMS therapy, her medicine dosage has been cut in half. Graves, who has served on the Advisory Board of the Psychiatric Department of Johns Hopkins for seven years, is working with West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation to bring this equipment to Jackson to Pathways.

Local entrepreneur Curtis Graves stands with his daughter Tammy VanDell, who is bipolar and has experienced severe depression. Since she began NeuroStar TMS therapy, her medicine dosage has been cut in half. Graves, who has served on the Advisory Board of the Psychiatric Department of Johns Hopkins for seven years, is working with West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation to bring this equipment to Jackson to Pathways. (Submitted photo)

Therapy relieves depression without medication

BY JACQUE HILLMAN
JHILLMAN@JACKSONSUN.COM
— Jacque Hillman, 425-9679

October 17, 2010 

What would you do if your child was severely depressed? If she was bipolar? And you had the knowledge to bring breakthrough technology to West Tennessee?

Jackson entrepreneur Curtis Graves, who has served on the Advisory Board of the Psychiatric Department of Johns Hopkins for seven years, is starting a fund to raise the money to purchase NeuroStar equipment for patients in West Tennessee. The equipment would be used at Pathways in Jackson.

His daughter Tammy VanDell is bipolar and suffers from severe depression.

“Her medicine for depression has been cut in half — in half — since she began treatment with NeuroStar TMS,” Graves said. “When I first heard of this technology and my daughter participated in it and had success, I knew that we had to get more of this technology available faster. I’m going to start right here in Jackson.”

NeuroStar is an alternative to medication to treat depression in some cases. It is transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of patients with major depression who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment. It does not involve surgery or anesthesia, is not taken by mouth and doesn’t circulate in the bloodstream.

TMS sends MRI-strength magnetic field pulses into the cortex of the brain, which creates electric currents in the brain. This stimulates the firing of nerve cells and the release of neurotransmitters.

“The problem with all medications is that they all have side effects,” Graves said. “And some are very severe. This is the answer to that — and it works. It has worked in my daughter.”

More than 373,000 people in the state of Tennessee have severe and persistent mental illness diagnosed, such as manic depressive disorder, schizophrenia or depression. That number includes about 92,000 children, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Of the patients who have been treated for depression with traditional medications, 30 percent don’t need their medications after having NeuroStar treatments.

Read in Full:  http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20101017/NEWS01/10170323



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