The Durability of Response After TMS: Achieving Long Term Depression Remission

The Durability of Response After TMS: Achieving Long Term Depression Remission

Studies have shown that 76% of patients who have some symptoms which persist after receiving treatment for depression will have a full relapse of depression within 15 months. However, when patients’ symptoms are entirely eliminated by their initial treatment method, only 25% relapse.

Antidepressant medications usually don’t provide total remission.  Instead–when they work–they alleviate your symptoms enough so that you can manage your daily life. A study by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care states: “The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of depression.” The insufficient symptom remission and frequent relapses that accompany psychopharmacological treatment methods are not your only treatment option. TMS therapy often provides both acute and long-term remission.

Researchers Explored Patients’ Durability of Response After TMS

The theories that form the basis of TMS therapy were first conceptualized in the 1790s. Researchers have developed these initial concepts over the last 230 years to create the highly effective TMS treatment plans patients receive today. Clinicians are using the expanding body of literature and knowledge surrounding TMS therapy to determine the durability of response after TMS treatment.

The Department of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center conducted a clinical trial on 301 patients to determine the success of TMS in achieving long term depression remission.  The researchers were pleased to discover that only 10% of patients had relapsed after 24 weeks, and only 38% met the study’s criteria for symptom worsening during this period. Those who received follow up TMS treatment responded well and without any unforeseen side effects–showing that TMS can effectively and safely be used as a maintenance treatment option.

A study by Dunner and colleagues in 2014 determined that patients who achieved remission at the conclusion of acute treatment remained similar at conclusion of one year. Among 120 patients who met IDS-SR response or remission criteria at the end of acute treatment, 75 (62.5%) continued to meet response criteria throughout long-term follow-up.

A recent 2018 retrospective review and meta-analysis by Elsevier went even further by comparing and compiling nineteen studies relating to the durability of TMS published between 2012 and 2018. By looking at multiple studies across time and comparing not only the results, but also the treatment methods, researchers were able to determine which method was most effective as a durable depression treatment. Most notably, patients who underwent electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) showed that, “close to 40% of patients, both with and without maintenance ECT, relapsed after 6 months.” Patients often confuse TMS and ECT, and need to compare the treatments and procedures. Diving even deeper, the study found results for more treatment methods as well. For example, “for tDCS (direct current stimulation) 2 RCTs have assessed the long-term effectiveness of tDCS and both reported a relapse rate of approximately 50%.” The results were conclusive: “rTMS is a durable treatment for depression, with sustained responder rates of 50% up to 1 year after a successful induction course of treatment,” the study explains. Unsurprisingly, the study posited that maintenance treatment enhances the durability of TMS.

Long Term Depression Remission is Possible At Mid City TMS

As one of the earliest providers of TMS therapy in the New York metropolitan area, Mid City TMS has built a legacy of providing effective depression treatment. Our goal is singular: we want to restore our patients’ health and happiness through TMS by helping our patients achieve and maintain remission. To accomplish our goal of maintaining remission, we offer custom tailored maintenance TMS, including Theta Burst TMS as a convenient and cost-effective option.

If you’re seeking a safe and effective treatment for depression, including follow up to your acute TMS treatment, our dedicated team will craft a customized treatment plan that meets your needs. Contact Mid City TMS.

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