Dr. Kira Stein of the West Coast TMS institute is an expert in the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation as well as in other mental illnesses and their treatments. In part 6 of her interview with author Andy Behrman, she answers questions about the use of TMS in pregnant women or women with postpartum depression. They go on to discuss whether TMS may be suitable for treating other mental disorders for which the treatment has not yet been approved.
I really enjoyed answering these questions, as the answers bring so much hope to so many. -- Kira Stein MD, Director West Coast TMS Institiute
Learn how to preserve brainpower when you're stressed.
Stress is everywhere, but some are more vulnerable to its brain-toxic effects than others. This is a great articles that reviews how trauma, gene expression and life stressors can be (to some extent) counterbalanced by healthy life activities.
TMS is an excellent option for patients who have not responded to their first medication, because research shows that TMS is considerably more effective than trying a second medication, with less risk of side effects. In fact, TMS is FDA-approved for the treatment of a major depressive episode that has failed to adequately respond to a first medication.Decisions about patient care need to be made on ......
“This new procedure marks a paradigm shift in how depression can be treated,” Stein says. “I predict TMS will change the course of psychiatry the way antibiotics changed general medicine decades ago, [and] will be considered as routine as medications in the next 10 to 20 years.”
Read more on West Coast TMS medical director Dr. Kira Stein's non-drug approach to treatment resistant depression.
Working memory is the ability to remember multiple peices of information for short-term use. This type of memory is impaired in schizophrenia, and thus people with schizophrenia often have difficulties functioning. TMS on the frontal lobe appears to improve this type of memory and functioning, something I have seen at my center. - Kira Stein MD
West Coast TMS Institute in Los Angeles is proud to announce that we are bringing a new level of expertise and service to the Los Angeles area. Our new TMS coordinator, Leila Kushan-Wells has a masters in neurobiology and cognition, and has been involved in trasncranial magnetic stimulation research in Europe. Read more about our unique team at http://www.westcoasttmsinstitute.com/about/tms-institute-support-staff/
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STIMULANT MIS-USE BY COLLEGE STUDENTS
More and more, stimulant medications are being diverted from medical use by patients suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Narcolepsy, and hard-to-treat depression, to non-medical use by students simply looking to boost their academic performance.
For those suffering from ADHD, stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin help normalize the brain's own dopamine and norepinephrine activity, improving biologically based difficulties in executive functioning. Untreated, ADHD is associated with irritability, inattentiveness and restlessness, which can lead to social difficulties, poor self-esteem, depressive & anxiety disorders – as well as an increased risk of substance abuse.
In 2010, more than 1 million people misused stimulant medications without a medical prescription. Recently, it was estimated that at least 30% of college students have used stimulant medications; while only up to 5% of the population suffers from ADHD. The most common non-medical stimulant uses in college are for the purposes of grade-boosting, pulling all-nighters before a test, or for use as appetite suppressants.
While the intent is initially to get ahead (or keep up) in school, non-medical stimulant abuse increases the risk of experiencing side effects, serious complications, and addiction, especially if used in excessive doses, unsupervised by a physician.
POTENTIAL STIMULANT SIDE EFFECTS
Side effects of stimulants can include anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, irritability, agitation, high blood pressure, and poor nutrition. For those with underlying medical problems, the heart’s normal rhythm may be compromised.
Normally, the brain's reward circuit needs a measured increase in dopamine activity to experience pleasure from music, food, or sex. When using stimulants as grade-boosters, the temptation to rely on them only increases over time, as confidence in one’s own natural abilities diminish. Recurrent, unnecessary stimulant use can result in bursts of dopamine levels, putting the brain’s reward system into hyper-drive, and increasing the risk of addiction.
Excessive doses can lead to psychosis (hallucinations & paranoia), euphoria, hyper-sexual behavior, impulsivity and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
The experience of euphoria often encourages further indulgence, followed by withdrawals with depressed mood, excessive fatigue and hunger. More abuse occurs with the desire to avoid such "crashes", while tolerance builds.
These developments increase the chances of stimulant toxicity, including symptoms of psychosis, confusion, rage, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death. While death is a rare occurrence, the non-lethal medical complications are serious. Between 2004 and 2009 the number of emergency room visits associated with stimulant use increased by over 200%.
Stimulant diversion is illegal and dangerous, while stimulant addiction is difficult to treat. Stimulants are too risky to use as academic performance-enhancing drugs.
Feeling stressed? Of course you are. You have too much on your plate, deadlines are looming, and people are counting on you. You are under a lot of pressure—so much that at times, you suspect the quality of your work suffers for it.
What a great group of suggestions on how to reduce stress!
Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, has long been an effective treatment for severe depression, but side effects such as loss of memory have been a problem for many.
This is part 7 of a 10-part interview of me on depression treatments and TMS, published on About.com. I think the entire series is very informative and urge you to share. -- Kira Stein, MD, West Coast TMS Institute Director
See Part 2 of 7 About.com interview series of psychiatrist and TMS expert Dr. Kira Stein. Dr. Kira Stein of the West Coast TMS Institute speaks with Andy Behrman about the kind of depression that transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is approved to treat: depression that has not been adequately relieved by first-line treatments.