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Houston Physicians Embrace New 3-Minute Magnetic Brain Stimulation to Combat Depression

ATLANTA, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A handful of Houston psychiatrists are now among the first providers in Texas to embrace new, FDA-cleared Express TMS® technology that now makes it possible for patients with chronic depression to receive 3-minute TMS treatments for their condition.

Express TMS® by MagVenture is the fastest TMS protocol that helps patients with a safe treatment for enduring depression. Psychiatrists like Dr. Martha St. John at Houston's Martha St. John, MD & Associates are seeing promising results with the use of this magnetic coil on a patient's head after a series of treatments.

TMS therapy or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic stimulation to improve depressive symptoms by stimulating nerve cells in the brain. It involves a repetitive magnetic pulse and does not require surgery or anesthesia.

Dr. St. John is among four providers in Houston now embracing this new 3-minute treatment for depression that allows patients a quick office visit as an alternative to treat their long-term depression.

"This is a 21st Century approach to treating depression," said Dr. St. John. "Patients like this better than anti-depressants because they don't have the side effects or they found the drugs only work for them briefly."

Most insurance plans now cover the Express TMS treatment protocol which requires about six weeks of daily treatments then tapered off for a total of approximately 36 treatments.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared TMS for major depressive disorder in 2008 for patients who did not respond to a variety of medications and therapy. However, the original TMS device required patients to sit for up to a 37-minute session for each treatment.

Express TMS® – recently approved by the FDA – now takes just three minutes. Express TMS® uses a magnetic field similar to an MRI to stimulate the brain in a non-invasive manner in the pre-frontal cortex. It delivers magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the area that controls mood. This area plays a crucial role in a person's mood, memory and decision-making.

During treatment with Express TMS, a patient sits in a chair while the psychiatrist uses the magnetic coil on the patient's head – making treatment convenient and usually with little side effects compared to medications.

"I have patients say 'This has changed my life'," said Dr. St. John. "It's just a shift in thinking away from anti-depressants. Physicians and patients just have to think about treatment in a different way."

She said occasional side effects can include a mild headache in some patients.

As an expert in the field, Dr. St. John has been performing TMS therapy since 2013 and is Board Certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and an elected fellow to the American Psychiatric Association. She completed her doctorate in medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

MagVenture is a Danish medical device company established in 2007, specializing in non-invasive magnetic stimulation for major depressive disorder. It is founded in research and collaborates with most of the leading TMS researchers in the world in areas of neurophysiology, neurology, cognitive neuroscience, rehabilitation and psychiatry. Its coils and stimulators are sold worldwide through direct sales and subsidiaries in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and distributors in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. For more information go to

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SOURCE MagVenture