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A Groundbreaking Treatment

Transcranial magnetic stimulation offers hope for people with major depressive disorder.

While the use of psychotherapy and antidepressants have shown vast improvement in some people who suffer from clinical depression, traditional treatment methods do not always work for everyone. That’s where transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, comes in. 

TMS is a non-invasive form of treatment where an electromagnetic coil is placed on a patient’s scalp near their forehead. A magnetic pulse then stimulates the nerve cells in the brain. The treatment focuses on the part of the brain that is associated with depression. Burrell Behavioral Health has a partnership with MU to offer this treatment to patients in central Missouri. In order to receive TMS, you must be 18 years or older and be diagnosed with major depressive disorder. 

Dr. Garima Singh, Chief Medical Officer, Burrell Behavioral Health

“The majority of the studies being done have found [the treatment] to be very effective,” says Dr. Garima Singh, chief medical officer at Burrell Behavioral Health and Brightli. “We do patient health questionnaires at the beginning of treatment and toward the end and we have found significant improvement in their mood and depression.” 

A typical treatment course is five treatments per week for six weeks. The treatments last, on average, around 20 minutes, with the first treatment being longer so the doctors can study the brain activity in the patient. After the initial six-weeks, patients can come back for additional treatment if needed. 

“We strongly believe in our vision that our patients should have all the options available with all the treatment modalities,” Garima says. “So having TMS is important, first of all, because the research and the science show it’s an effective and efficient means of treatment, and our patients with mental health concerns and behavioral issues at times don’t have all the options available to them. It’s very important to us at Burrell that we have every option available for our patients to get better and to reach their potential and just feel better.” 

Toward the end of 2021, Missouri Medicare announced that it will now cover TMS, which will open the door for more people suffering from depression to have access to this treatment. 

“With the recent coverage of Medicare, we have a vision of expanding TMS services to all our regions so that we can help our patients,” Dr. Singh says. “Presently, in Columbia, we are partnering with MU to provide this treatment modality to our patients.”

Burrell Behavioral Health is also opening a behavioral crisis center this year. The temporary location will open in July at Stephens Lake Clinic. It will be open 24/7.

 “Once we start the behavioral crisis center, that’s going to be another venue for our patients to get the help right then when they need it, and they don’t have to wait for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Dr. Singh says. “Because we all know that a crisis doesn’t see the time. It just happens, and we need to be there to help them.”

To learn more or schedule an appointment, visit burrellcenter.com

24-Hour Columbia crisis line: (1-800) 395-2132

In addition to Burrell Behavioral Health and MU Health, CenterPointe Hospital also offers TMS in Columbia. 

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