Ketamine vs. TMS: Is one better than the other? Is combined TMS and ketamine a safe therapy?
Please, read the following article to learn why residents of Annapolis, Maryland and the surrounding communities are getting excited about what is coming very soon.
Intravenous ketamine works very well for treatment-resistant depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and a wide variety of other mood disorders and mental health conditions. TMS treatment is a very different type of therapy that uses magnetic stimulation to create electrical currents in the brain, allowing doctors to directly affect specific nerve cells.
If you are considering going in for either ketamine services or TMS treatment, you may be wondering, is ketamine therapy the safer and more effective treatment, or is it TMS therapy? One treatment uses a dissociative anesthetic drug and the other uses electromagnetism and electrical currents.
Fortunately, both treatments are safe, low risk procedures. Doctors have used ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, as an anesthetic for decades. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive therapy that utilizes a magnetic field that is about as strong as an MRI.
Studies show that both TMS and ketamine help with a variety of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (bipolar depression), suicidal ideation, major depressive disorder, PTSD, and OCD. TMS is available in different varieties, including rTMS, helpful in treating depression, and dTMS, which is effective in treating obsessive compulsive disorder.
Using the two therapies as a combination treatment provides even greater benefits than either treatment alone. Because ketamine and TMS use very different mechanisms, they are able to work well together, providing even better results in many cases as a treatment for severe depression and other mental illness conditions.
Is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) the same as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?
TMS and ECT are not the same. Many people are not comfortable with the idea of a doctor sending electric shocks through their brain. In fact, IV ketamine patients may have chosen ketamine treatment over TMS because they mistakenly believed that TMS was a form of shock therapy.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has come a long way in recent decades from being the old-style psych ward shock therapy. Many psychiatrists consider ECT to be a somewhat safe and effective treatment for severe depressive symptoms.
However, even in its most refined form, ECT requires implanting electrodes in the scalp in order to send electric currents to the brain. During ECT, an anesthesiologist must put the patient to sleep as a protective measure.
Additionally, electroconvulsive therapy can cause seizures. Fortunately, patients now have the safer alternative, TMS, which is safe, does not require implanting electrodes in the scalp, and the patient may remain awake, without anesthesia.
Thanks to the great physicist, Michael Faraday, who described in 1831 how magnetic induction works, the development of TMS was possible, as a safe alternative to shock therapy. Rather than sending electrical currents from the scalp down through the entire brain, TMS is able to deliver an isolated current to deep regions of the brain, using a safe magnetic field.
Are there different kinds of TMS and ketamine?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation comes in several varieties. There is rTMS, which involves repetitive stimulation. Then, there is dTMS, which is able to deliver a current to deeper regions of the brain.
The FDA has approved rTMS for treating depression and dTMS for treating both depression and OCD. Additionally, TMS doctors have various configurations of coils to create magnetic fields of varying strengths.
Ketamine is a drug that doctors have used for decades as an IV anesthetic, but is now available in other forms for newer treatments. For example, esketamine nasal spray (Spravato) is a nasal spray that uses one isomer of the ketamine molecule. The FDA has approved Spravato for depression treatment.
While oral ketamine is available from compound pharmacies, it has limited usefulness. Ketamine infusion therapy is, without a doubt, the gold standard of ketamine treatment.
If you are interested in ketamine combined with TMS, you should visit a clinic with properly experienced ketamine/TMS healthcare professionals. The two treatments together are a safe and effective combination therapy, when implemented properly.
Can a ketamine TMS combo help with suicidal thoughts?
For many people, depression symptoms can worsen to the point where they start having passive, or even active suicidal thoughts. A patient suffering from suicidality, with no improvement with antidepressant medication, may do very well with TMS ketamine combined therapy.
Both treatments together have a high remission rate. Patients who have persistent suicidal ideation often note that these intrusive thoughts become less intense and less frequent with each additional treatment.
In addition to suicidality and depression, anxiety can also be treated with both TMS and ketamine. Depending on the severity of the mental health condition, the patient may be get either TMS, ketamine, or both.
If a patient chooses to start with either ketamine or TMS, they will have the option to switch if needed. Or, they may be offered combination ketamine and TMS, as a more powerful treatment option.
People who have suicidal thoughts want relief from intolerable emotional pain. Ketamine and TMS are ideal therapies to address this issue, providing relief to patients with suicidal ideation.
Why is Annapolis, Maryland the capital of ketamine and TMS combined therapy?
In addition to the technical aspects of ketamine TMS, we also provide the best in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Therapy is provided shortly after treatment.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation and ketamine infusion improve brain functioning. Psychotherapy helps the patient get the most out of their treatment.
For people who live in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Metro Area, our TMS and ketamine clinic is not far from where you are. You have access to the best possible brain health care when it comes to ketamine for depression in Maryland and TMS therapy.
Even if you live further away, you may still want to consider making the trip. We are dedicated to providing you with the best experience possible. Soon, you will be able to join the many people who have already benefited from combined TMS/ketamine treatments.