Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 368378

Shown: posts 1 to 22 of 22. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by linkadge on July 20, 2004, at 18:40:05

I went back to using my rTMS machine. It works for 99% of my emotional problems but I still don't really trust it.

I have no way of knowing that it is not frying my brain.


Linkadge

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by crazychickuk on July 20, 2004, at 19:46:10

In reply to rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by linkadge on July 20, 2004, at 18:40:05

wat is this?

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by linkadge on July 21, 2004, at 9:08:55

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by crazychickuk on July 20, 2004, at 19:46:10

transcranial megnetic stimulation.


Linkadge

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... linkadge

Posted by Pfinstegg on July 22, 2004, at 13:09:06

In reply to rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by linkadge on July 20, 2004, at 18:40:05

What would you think of using it intermittently, for monthly booster sessions? That is the way Drs. Hutto and Best use it here for their long-term patients. They give two treatments (400 trains each) twice daily for three days a month. This keeps quite a few people feeling well. If you use it daily, perhaps several times per day, you are entering an area where no-one that I know of has had any experience., and I think it is reasonable to be concerned.

Pfinstegg- presently having 6 sessions every four months or so.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... Pfinstegg

Posted by Viszla on July 28, 2004, at 12:03:35

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... linkadge, posted by Pfinstegg on July 22, 2004, at 13:09:06

I read your messages when you were looking for experienced rTMS users. Sounds like you now are one yourself. I've researched Dr. Best here in Chicago and the clinic in Toronto. Can you tell us how many treatments you had and what it cost?

Thanks so much.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... Viszla

Posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 16:37:17

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... Pfinstegg, posted by Viszla on July 28, 2004, at 12:03:35

Hi.. I have been treated four times by Dr. Mark Hutto of Atlanta. The first course of treatments was 15 consecutive ones; it worked very well, with remission after 5 treatments- then 10 more for *insurance*. I have been back 3 times for twice-daily booster sessions of six trains- these have worked very well, also. At present, it has been four months since my last treqtment, but I'm still in remission. Dr. Hutto himself feels that it's a short-term treatment for most people, which needs to be repeated at monthly intervals.

It is expensive- $170.00 per treatment, and, as it's not FDA-aproved, insurance won't cover it. I was able to deduct the entire cost, including travel and lodging, from my taxes- but that was only after having paid for it myself.

I think there is a good chance it will be FDA-approved in 2005 or 6, which will make it much easier to obtain. Generally, it helps about 2/3rd of the people who try it.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by Viszla on July 28, 2004, at 18:52:11

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... Viszla, posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 16:37:17

So you went for 3 weeks, then back monthly for awhile? When you went back for maintenance the first times, were you experiencing poop out or was it just more insurance?

I really appreciate hearing about it from you. I've called all the test locations, but they all require washing out of meds, of course. I don't want to be there again. Right now my Nardil is working better than anything else. But, the depression never really leaves completely. Plus I'm plagued by anxiety, inability to focus, and insomnia. I'm trying to do everything I can to maintain my current level (yoga, nutrition), but there are still unpredictable days where the depression gets worse.

I've talked to the people in Canada (Mindcare Centers), Dr. Best here in Deerfield (I'm in Chgo), and just today, I talked to Dr. Hutto. I'm beginning to feel that all these places are safe.

This is a long post to say that I'm hoping rTMS will give me an additional boost and keep Nardil working. To have real remission, where I am free of depression - well, that's feels like a real fantasy now.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 19:39:07

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by Viszla on July 28, 2004, at 18:52:11

At first, the three weeks of TMS resulted in a four-month remission. The depression then returned in full force, at about four-month intervals, so I went for booster treatments three times. However, over the course of 15 months, the depression gradually went from severe, then moderate, then minimal- and for the moment, is in remission.

Dr. Hutto is an excellent doctor, and was in fact named Georgia's physician of the year for 2003. From what I have learned, Dr. Best is equally good- and for you- a lot more convenient!

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by Viszla on July 28, 2004, at 19:55:53

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 19:39:07

Thanks - and good luck on your current remission!

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by ravenstorm on August 4, 2004, at 22:59:25

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by Viszla on July 28, 2004, at 19:55:53

Could you please post some information on Dr. Best or how to get in touch with him. I live in Wisconsin, so chicago is closer than atlanta. I found the website of the clinic in atlanta but can not find anything similar for Dr. Best.

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by Viszla on August 5, 2004, at 0:52:43

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by ravenstorm on August 4, 2004, at 22:59:25

I had a hard time finding him, too. Try this:

Steven Devore Best, M.D
The Neuroscience Center
440 Lake Cook Rd, Suite 2
Deerfield IL 60015
(847)-236-9310
srdbest@theneurosciencecenter.org

Let me know what you think after you've contacted his office. I'd like to have your opinion.

Also, how far are you from Toronto? Check www.mindcarecentres.com. It's approved in Canada and this group has a location in Vancouver and in Toronto.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 9:53:30

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by Viszla on August 5, 2004, at 0:52:43

THANKS! I wish I had known about rTMS sooner. I went through horrendous paxil withdrawal last fall and ended up much worse than I was before I ever went on it.

I have been playing what feels like Russian roulette with meds ever since (and I've tried all the natural stuff too).

Currently I'm on 15mg of remeron, which isn't doing enough and I can't bump up on it because I get too sedated. I don't feel good on this drug at all, kind of detached and very tired all the time. So, now they have added WB which is making me anxious (which I wouldn't have thought possible because I'm taking remeron which had totally obliterated my anxiety) and is really killing my stomach.

My stomach is really the worst problem. I have a really weak stomach and almost all of these meds make me really sick.

Any how, if I had known about this stuff sooner (when I was really bad off this winter and unable to get on a drug) I would have done this in a heartbeat, especially the free clinical trials. But now that I'm at least not suicidal (Yes, I was suicidal for literally months after paxil and I had NEVER been suicidal before in my life) I'm afraid to go off the meds to do the trial. And if I pay for the treatments while on medication and I think it has worked and then I go through withdrawals to get off the meds, I'm afraid I'll end up screwed up again from the withdrawals. I know these meds are suppossed to balance your brain so you feel better after you get off of them. But there is a growing minority of us whose brains seem to get depleted by the drugs, or at least cause our brains not to function anymore after we stop taking them.

It just seems to me, it would be best to be off all meds before doing this, so that an unmedicated brain could be returned to normal. But I'm just too scared to do it right now.

I am going to contact both places anyway to get more information and see what they think.

I live in Madison, WI so chicago is definitely the closest but I like the website with Dr. Hutto and the fact that we "know" someone who has actually been treated by him.

A question for pfinsting (oh crud, I can't remember your ID--SORRY): when you did your original series of treatments, (they indicate on the website somewhere between 15-25 treatments are needed) how many treatments did you get per day? (Sorry if you answered this elsewhere!) Just wondering how much time I would have to take off of work.

Thanks!!

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 10:31:11

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 9:53:30

Oh, I forgot to post this.

http://www.neuronetics.com/

They are currently doing the clinical trials across the US. You have to be off meds to be part of the trials, though.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... ravenstorm

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 10:32:51

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 9:53:30

Hi ravenstorm.. I initially had 15 treatments at a rate of one per day. I'm one of those people who really respond to TMS, so I got into remission after about four days. Dr. Hutto suggested another week of treatment to help the remission last, and then left it up to me whether i wanted to do a third week. I decided to do it- i don't know whether it helped more, or not. You'll find all kinds of initial treatment protocols, from two weeks to five, depending on who is doing it. I have become convinced that skill in applying the magnetic coil is VERY important, as this type of current does not penetrate further than 2 cm into your brain, although it does cause sort of relay changes in neurons farther away. I think Dr. Best is just as experienced and successful as Dr. Hutto- he's been doing it about as long. They have very informative literature that you can request. It might be worth finding out whether Dr. Best gives double sessions during initial treatment- that would cut down the time you need to spend away from work. I read a little blurb from someone who goes to him regularly to control a psychotic depression. For maintenance, he has THREE sessions a day for two days as maintenance. They fully expect you to keep up any medications you feel are helpful- even if just a little.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 12:33:07

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... ravenstorm, posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 10:32:51

Thanks! I should also say that I am interested in this as possibly a way to be off meds during a pregnancy.

The reason I went off Paxil was because we wanted to start a family (I was on 20mg for two years but the last four years I was only on 5mg and 2mg, just enough to keep from going through withdrawal! And I was just fine on those miniscule amounts. But after going through the final withdrawal I ended up worse than I have ever been in my life.

Obviously, kids are out of the question right now. Which is really hard as I am 36 years old and last year at this time I was feeling great on 1.0mg of paxil. We fully expected to be on our way to having a family. Now I don't know if I will ever get well enough to consider having kids. I mean I can function, but I'm not who I was and I certainly could not give a child everything it deserves right now.

I thought if rTMS worked, I could possibly make it all the way through a pregnancy or just get one booster session if necessary. I've got to say, I would think a booster session would be a hell of a lot less dangerous than all these drugs!

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by Viszla on August 5, 2004, at 12:48:49

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... ravenstorm, posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 10:32:51

According to the research articles I received from Canada, the best candidates are those who have trd and have failed on several drugs. Also, if ECT helped, rTMS should. I was in an ECT study and it did work briefly. I believe that maintenance ECT would have helped, but this rTMS seems so much better. I had real side effects from ECT.

As for drugs, everything I have tried over 30 years has either not worked or pooped out. Except for Nardil. I'm on it now and I have more good days than bad, but the depression never goes away and the amount of energy & time I have to spend managing it uses up most of my life and money. I know that the older you get & the longer you've had depression, the more often depressive events break through and the longer they last. I'm desperately trying to avoid this and I'm hoping rtms will give me that added edge and something I can return to when depression does raise its ugly head.

Here's a question I have for Pfinstegg about costs. Dr. Bests' technician, Stephen, gave me the following costs - how does this protocol & cost compare to your experience?

$340 - 1 hr consultation
$1200 - Brain Spec which insurance often pays. (What is a brain spec?)
$414 - EEG - again insurance often pays
$290 - 2nd consultation a week later & decision; treatment may start on this day

Treatments - $190 for 1/day; 290 for 2/day
He said they last 40 minutes and could last 8 weeks daily! That's 40 treatments. That makes the treatments possibly $7600 plus another $1000 for the rest, assuming insurance will cover the tests.

Did Hutta use these tests? Before you started, what was high range of # of treatments you thought you might have to get? As many as 40?

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 13:41:16

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by Viszla on August 5, 2004, at 12:48:49

Hey, I thought I'd respond because the information you are seeking is on Dr. Hutto's website (or rather, his TMS center website).

Dr. Huttos seems much cheaper than what you quoted ($3,900 or something like that) and they also offer a sliding fee on the actual treatment portion of the cost.

http://www.centerfortms.com/Advanced-New-Treatment-for-Depression.cfm

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by Viszla on August 5, 2004, at 14:09:57

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 13:41:16

True, it is cheaper, but...

Best does 2/day for $290 which brings it down to $145 each if you can always get two. And if insurance does cover the tests, the actual cost for the physician/lab part comes to $953 or $23 more than Hatto. So if you have the 20 average that Hatto says, they're about the same.

Those are big if's. Plus the fact that I was told the range of treatments is up to 40 at Best! Then again, for Atlanta I have to add the cost of travel/hotel/food.

I really want to know what this expensive brain spec is and why it is used. Is it something that makes the rtms more accurate? Or, is it part of some pseudo research?

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... Viszla

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 17:05:23

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by Viszla on August 5, 2004, at 12:48:49

I think the test the technician mentioned is a Spect scan, which measures patterns of cerebral blood flow. Successful TMS increases blood flow in the left frontal cortex. Diminished blood flow in that region is a hallmark of depression.

Dr. Hutto used to do all those tests, but doesn't now unless he finds a special indication to do so. He gives an initial one-hour interview, which costs, I think $200-250, and which insurance pays for usually. When I was there, a year and a half ago, he gave one treatment daily, and told me to expect to have 15. It may be tht he gives two a day now- that would be worth asking about. On my three follow-up visits, I've had two a day for three days. Each time, the depression has disappeared completely after 2-4 sessions. When you go for two or three weeks of treatment, you would see Dr. hutto once a week- again usually paid for by insurance.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... ravenstorm

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 17:13:56

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 12:33:07

I think TMS is an extremely safe treatment, which is directed about 2 centimeters into the left frontal cortex. I think it would be safe during pregnancy, but this is something you could check out by e-mailing Dr. Hutto. Depending on your response, you might have to return at intervals (I have returned 3 times for boosters). For me, each time, the depression was less severe when I went, and the effects lasted longer- but I don't think everyone is as lucky.

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but...

Posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 20:17:40

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... ravenstorm, posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 17:13:56

Pfinstegg- Were you on medication when you did the rTMS? Did they want you to get back on meds when you were through? Do they believe this can work to alleviate depression (with boosters etc) or do they just think that it resets the brain enough so that medications that didn't work for you before will work again.

My problem isn't that meds don't work, its that they all make me sooooo sick because I'm soooo med sensitive and have so many stomach problems. I'm trying to find alternatives to pills (so I've been watching/waiting for the EnSam patch to be approved!), so I thought this is at least something worth exploring.

Thanks for all your information.

Oh, and my insurance won't cover any of the preliminaries either because I have an HMO and if its not one of their doctors, it isn't covered!!

 

Re: rTMS solves all my problems but... ravenstorm

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 5, 2004, at 21:20:10

In reply to Re: rTMS solves all my problems but..., posted by ravenstorm on August 5, 2004, at 20:17:40

I've had a lot of difficulties with medications, too. I wasn't on any when i first went, but have been on Lexapro on and off since then. Now I am just on Wellbutrin 75 mg., and am fine for the time being. Dr. Hutto pretty much expects his patients will be on some AD during and after treatment, but , particularly when he first started offering TMS, the ones who came to him were extremely depressed, and had failed most everything else. Now that TMS is nearer to FDA approval, people with less severe degrees of depression are seeking him out, too.

If I have a relapse, I'll have booster TMS as my first choice of an AD. It's realy a very physiologically *correct* treatment- increasing left hemisphere blood flow, decreasing cortisol levels, normalizing serotonin, nor-epinephrine and dopamine, and increasing BDNF. Each time I've had it, even though I do eventually have a relapse, it's a less severe one each time. At the moment, I'm doing OK 6 months after my last booster session. I should emphasize, however, that it's not considered a permanent *fix*, and that most people do continue treatment indefinitely. I wish you luck if you decide to try it!


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